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

faith, Fear, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation

Shannon’s Story of Forgiveness

How many times does our Father or Mother’s sin effect our life as we grow up as children?  Sometimes we carry around the sin, the guilt, the blame and yes the feelings of rejection and un-forgiveness in life or even deal with the battles our parents never conquered.  This story was made purposely not to expose one family’s faults but in some way we may all have experienced this or know someone who has.  The ultimate goal of the enemy is always to kill, steal and destroy, however as Shannon met her sister for the first time upon her father’s death bed, Shannon found something she had been looking for her entire life….freedom and forgiveness.

Watch as Shannon tells her story of forgiveness…..

Matthew 18 Living Translation

21Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

 

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

What’s Love Got To Do With It

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

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

I John 4:16 –

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

This type of love that comes from God :

Daily Live in Love

There is love that is perfect love

Pursue it

Is forever love

Is Greatest love

Brings unity

Brings peace

Shows kindness

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

Sacrifices for sake of others

Love is a choice….

Greeks had terms of love:

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

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

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

Other types of LOVERS:

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

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

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

* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,

* do not tolerate separation at all well.

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

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

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

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

Three primary styles:


1. Eros – Loving an ideal person

2. Ludos – Love as a game

3. Storge – Love as friendship

Three secondary styles:


1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love

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

3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revolutionizes marriage

Fortifies friendships

Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers

Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mark 8:34-35

Deny yourself

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

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

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

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

In marriage = a lot of sacrifice

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

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

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

Why is it so hard?  Commitment

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

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

“I am done!”  I am burnout….

How do we get refilled?

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

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

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

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

Burn out 3 ways.

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

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

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

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

Love is patient, love is kind.

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

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

Love suffers long.


Love is kind.


Love does not envy.


Love does not parade itself.


Love is not puffed up.


Love does not behave rudely.


Love does not seek its own.


Love is not provoked.


Love thinks no evil.


Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


Love rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things.


Love believes all things.


Love hopes all things.


Love endures all things.


Love never fails.

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

Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Weird Stuff

How to Read Your Dog Just by Watching Her Tail

Roxie wagging her tail....Roxie is so cute and she just turned 10 years old Christmas Eve.  She drives me crazy sometime when she barks for no reason.  I thought this article was worth sharing and now I am going to start paying attention to her tail.  lol….

By Dr. Becker

New research suggests dogs send messages to each other through tail wags.

According to a study published in a recent issue of Current Biology,1 the direction of a wag is quite significant. What looks like just another friendly wag to you or me is actually communicating important information to other dogs.

As it turns out, when dogs are feeling stressed they tend to wag their tails to the left. The reason for this, according to the study’s lead author, Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trento in Italy, is that tail wagging is a reflection of what’s going on in a dog’s brain. Activation of the left-brain causes the tail to wag to the right, and activation of the right-brain produces a wag to the left.

 

Tail Wags to the Right Signal Openness, Wags to the Left Signal Wariness

In an earlier study, Vallortigara and his team demonstrated that dogs wag to the right side when they encounter something pleasant (like their owners). When they see something threatening, for example, a strange dog exhibiting dominant behaviors, they wag more to the left side. Those study results raised the question of whether dogs notice another dog’s tail wagging and use the information to decide whether the dog with the wagging tail is friend or foe.

For the most recent study, Vallortigara and his team used videos of a dog or dog silhouette wagging its tail mostly to one side or the other, or not wagging at all. The only thing moving in the wagging videos was the tail.

The video was shown to 43 dogs, including mixed breeds, Rottweilers, Beagles, Boxers, Border Collies, and German Shepherds, who were equipped with heart rate monitors. When the video dog wagged primarily to its left, indicating a negative response, the dogs in the study tended to have faster heartbeats than when the video dog wagged to the right or not at all. The dogs’ response also suggested a higher degree of stress.

Left-brain activity in dogs resulting in tail wagging to the right means they are having a positive response that invites another dog to approach. Right-brain activation suggests a negative withdrawal response.

 

Study Concludes Dogs Read the Tail Wags of Other Dogs

The study concluded that dogs who see another dog wagging to the left experience anxiety and elevated heart rates, whereas dogs who see another dog wagging to the right remain relaxed.

The researchers don’t believe the dogs are intentionally sending signals with their tails, but rather the tail wagging is a consequence of the inner workings of the canine brain. Tail-wagging behavior results from the way in which different emotional signals activate different parts of a dog’s brain.

“These results suggest that dogs have perceptual and attentional asymmetries,” says Vallortigara. “So for example, if you are going to visit a dog, if you are vet, there will be probably a side which is better with respect to the probability to evoke a more friendship response or to evoke a more aggressive response.”

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

Fire Out Of Control

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

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

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

 

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

 

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

Mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

From the “The Applause of Heaven”

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

Run Toward The Light

I walk in the light
Remember those scary movies you watched as a child?  They would always say, “Run toward the light!” if they were in some limbo area to crossover between death and life.  I find it kind of ironic now for we pursue the same thing knowing what the “Light” is.

We all are on a journey called life, and we really don’t fit into this world, yet we pursue the light.  As we pursue the light the less important things seem to be in this world and character shapes us to who we become.  The light is not darkness, the light is love.  The light is doing the right things.  The light is forgiveness.

If we fail to look closely at our thoughts, motives, attitudes and priorities we will relate with others in unhealthy ways.  The type of person we are is a clear reflections of the condition of our inner life.  Either we walk in darkness and chaos or we walk in light with peace.

images-3

We all have difficulty looking honestly at ourselves and it is easy to overlook our own flaws but oh how easy it is to see the flaws of others.  Can you love others regardless of the flaws?  We tend to blame circumstances for our behavior rather than taking responsibility for our responses.  Right character requires making right choices and disciplining ourself daily.

When we are not running toward the light we will:  react in unhealthy ways of being impatient, unkind, judgmental.  We will fight the wrong battles thinking it is our responsibility to change others.  We will rely on our natural ability to love, however no matter how hard we try our ability will never be enough without God’s help.

I don’t know about you but running toward the light is a daily action and though process.  It is taking time to be thankful for what you have.  It is being kind despite the circumstances.  It is showing and doing right things to others and to yourself.  It is having peace and choosing peace in your household.  So with all that said…. “Run toward the Light” it is your answer to get through this world!

I John 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Abundant life, Fear, God Speaks, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood

Mamma’s Fan

mama's old fan in my roomAs I lay in bed at night with my box fan blowing straight on me I try not to let my thoughts tumble through my mind.  Sleep, somehow it escapes me until I tell my mind to rest.  I lay there thinking of the day and try to focus on wonderful memories to help me go to sleep.  I think how my mother in the middle of the summer time telling me to lay really still and you will feel the breeze of the fan from across the room.  She would also tell me that while we lay inside the tent on those hot summer days spent at the lake although I don’t think there was a breeze flowing through a tent, I still believed her.

noxema for sunburnsSunburned she put Noxzema all over us, with bugs on the floor and us laying on sleeping bags with the sound of crickets we fell asleep with peace knowing we could sleep beside our mom.  Dad sometime slept on a cot outside because he would always go fishing early. We would wake up with the smell of bacon cooking, fresh sliced tomatoes, gravy and biscuits from a skillet.

I think back then we didn’t have air condition but an old box fan in our room.  The noise and the comfort of home, aw put me to sleep.  I also remember laying in the back of the pick up truck on the way home from those long week ends coming from the lake.  We would put a sheet over us and let it blow and eventually fall asleep before we got back to home.

The noise of the fan or the air blowing, the feel of the breeze brings the comfort of my soul.  It makes me smile.

I realize I was blessed when I grew as a child with wonderful parents and a mother who cooked, cleaned and made sure we were comforted even with the nightmares, she always made us feel safe.

As I pondered on how God looks down on us, He wants us to feel the comfort of peace and safety too.  Just as an old box fan in the still of the night it brings a breeze of the Holy Spirit whispering “I love you and I will protect you”.  I pray as you rest your head down tonight, think upon the childhood memories of sweetness and what brought you peace as a child.  Remember, you are a child of God now and He will never leave you nor forsake you, listen for His still small voice to whisper even in the middle of the night.

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

My Boys Became Men

Logan, Hayden and Madisonhttp://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2013/05/17/10-things-i-want-my-kids-to-know-when-theyre-older/  (Just click and subscribe!)

Logan, Hayden and Madison

I subscribe to BETTER LIFE COACHING BLOG BY DARREN POKE!  I love getting and reading his blogs.  Here is todays that I thought I would share with my own readers.  It is something I can relate to as being a mother of four boys. 🙂   As I have watched my boys become men, we tried to instill these same values in our sons and hope you do the same with your children.  Please read!

Cute boys!  I remember those days, treasure those days and glad they are well on their way in preparing and making their own families.  At 21,23,25 and 28 those years just flew by.  We are now awaiting to be the Memma and Poppy of being grandparents. 🙂

10 Things I Want My Kids To Know When They’re Older

Frederick Douglass once said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Being a dad is one of the biggest challenges of my life.

I have three awesome kids, Hayden (aged 8), Madison and Logan (both aged 5) and raising them to become adults who are able to confidently make a positive contribution to society isn’t always easy.

They didn’t come with a manual and whilst I want to be the best dad I can be, I know that I fall short of my own expectations far too often.

One statement that I used when the kids were very young was that “we’re not raising children, we’re raising 25 year olds.”

The idea is that when I focus on the short-term, I can become reactive and make decisions that suit me at the time.  But when I think about the long-term consequences, I discipline them better, give them more attention and help them to become better people.

As I said earlier, I don’t always get it right, but there are 10 things I want my kids to know when they’re older.  If Karen and I get these right, we’ve done OK:

  1. That they are loved – Karen and I don’t want our children to ever doubt that they are loved.  We tell them every chance that we get and try to find meaningful ways to show them.  They may make mistakes and we may disagree with their decisions, but we will always love and value them.  As they get older, learning their love languages will help us in this challenge.
  2. The value of hard work – Life wasn’t meant to be easy and I want my kids to know that there is value and meaning in work.  Will Smith tells the story of his father getting Will and his brother to build brick walls during their school holidays to keep them busy and give them a work ethic.  That may be a little extreme (and we don’t need a brick wall), but I want them to know that anything worth having is worth sweating for.
  3. How to persist through challenges – I don’t want to raise quitters, I want to raise fighters.  I want to show them how to overcome the inevitable challenges that will come across their path, not just give up.  Needless to say, the Donkey in the Well story has already been used a couple of times and they’ll know it well by the time they’re 25.
  4. Good eating habits – With a dramatic rise in childhood obesity in Australia and the long-term health consequences associated with it, we have a responsibility to teach our kids good eating habits.  Teaching good eating habits is also about teaching them about delayed gratification.  It’s about making sure that they understand that whilst junk food tastes good for a moment, there are negative consequences if they keep doing the wrong thing.  They may not appreciate it now, but they’ll thank us in the years to come.
  5. Kindness towards the less fortunate – This is a value that Karen and I hold dear and I want my kids to understand how fortunate they are.  As a family, we sponsor a child in Indonesia and want them to be grateful for what they have and generous towards those who have very little.
  6. How to encourage others – This is another important value for our family and I would love for them to become natural encouragers who build each other up and identify the good in others.
  7. Not to take themselves too seriously – Life’s too short to live with a constant sneer.  I hope that I can teach my kids how to laugh at life at themselves and occasionally, even at me.  Whilst I want them to be able to work hard, I also hope that they can find great joy in music, art, sport or other interests.
  8. How to work where they are passionate – They will each work for approximately 100,000 hours during their lives and we would love it if they could find careers that they loved.  I have no idea what that looks like yet (although Hayden aspires to be a zoologist), but hopefully we can help them to find purpose and meaning through doing work that they can get passionate about.
  9. Good manners – It’s not that hard to say please, thanks and excuse me.  It’s not that hard to be considerate of others’ feelings.  Hopefully, we can role-model good manners and help them to understand the importance of being polite.
  10. The grace of God – My faith is a huge part of my life and I pray that my kids would know that not only are they loved by their imperfect parents, but they are loved by their perfect creator.

This isn’t an exhaustive list and there are other things that I would want them to know (supporting the Richmond Football Club is not negotiable), but they are my top priorities and by keeping them in mind as I parent, I pray that I can make decisions that will help them when they’re older.

What values do you want for your kids when they’re older?