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!

 

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, Emotional, Encouragement, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, Weird Stuff

The Kill of a Coyote

Last month my niece lost her little dog.  This is what she posted:

This had have been one of the most spoilt rotten dogs I have ever had. But I loved her with every fiber of my being. She was my baby girl and I loved her so much. I would brag about her all the time. She was mean and sometimes stupid and always hyper. I didn’t even have her for two years but I would never want to replace those days. She could cheer me up or just make me really angry. No one knows how heart-broken I am to find out that she will be gone forever. No other dog could take her place. I love my Zoey and I always will.
My brother had let Zoey out to potty and after fifteen minutes she never returned.  Thinking someone stopped and maybe picked her up we sent out messages and postings “missing dog.”  It wasn’t till a few days later when he approached home he could see the vultures circling overhead in a nearby field.  He walked out to the field and their lay her remains, slaughtered and ravaged.  This was the works of the coyotes that roam the area. I have often heard the howls and the yelp at dusk when I visit my parents.  They are even more cautious now to let their own little dog out after dark.

Coyotes are the size of a medium-size dog, but with longer, thicker fur.  Coyotes are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will feed on whatever is most readily available and easy to obtain. Their primary foods include fruit, berries, small rodents, rabbits, birds, snakes, frogs, and insects. They will scavenge on animal remains, including road-kills, as well as garbage and pet food left outdoors. In suburban areas they prey upon unprotected pets, including outdoor house cats and unsupervised domestic dogs. Because coyotes utilize so many different food sources, they have adapted to and live in a variety of habitats including urban and heavily populated areas. Coyotes are usually shy and elusive, but are frequently seen individually, in pairs, or in small groups where food is commonly found. A family group, more commonly known as a pack, consists of the parents, their pups, and, occasionally, the previous year’s pups.  Howling is the main way for coyotes to communicate with others. While some people find it unnerving, this howl serves many purposes.

Coyotes remind me of people at times or at least their behavior does.  The Bible speaks of wolves in sheep clothing, and I believe the coyote falls in that category too for like a wolf, their prey as only one result which is death. As Christians we are also to be aware of our surroundings for as sheep we are to be aware of the wolves in this world and the consequences of associating with one.

Luke 10New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary  10:1-16 Christ sent the seventy disciples, two and two, that they might strengthen and encourage one another. The ministry of the gospel calls men to receive Christ as a Prince and a Savior; and he will surely come in the power of his Spirit to all places whither he sends his faithful servants. But the doom of those who receive the grace of God in vain, will be very fearful Those who despise the faithful ministers of Christ, who think meanly of them, and look scornfully upon them, will be reckoned as despiser of God and Christ.

Ezekiel 22:27  GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
… like wolves that tear their prey into pieces. They murder and destroy people to make excessive profits.

Although this is a sad story of how my niece lost her little dog to prey, we must be careful not to fall into prey nor be the attacker under the disguise of  sheep.  People shall be known by their fruit.

New Living Translation (©2007) Romans 8:8, Luke 6:44-45,37
That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.New Living Translation (©2007)
A tree is identified by its fruit. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.New Living Translation (©2007)
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Wolves run in packs, joining together, uniting together looking for their victim.  Attacking, killing yet leaving behind the fruit of the kill for all to see to be eaten by vultures.  They walk away with self-satisfaction of instinct without respect of who or what they have hurt in the process.  Out of instinct of nature, the coyote killed, mutilated a small pet which belonged to my niece.  The pack took no thought in what they were doing and acted out to gain satisfaction for their belly.  How many times do we see people do the same thing?  So sad to see the blood of people on the mouth of sheep in wolves clothing.

New Living Translation (©2007) John 10:10
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Romans 8:5 New Living Translation (©2007)
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

Lord, I pray for those who try to gain revenge or try to take justice into their own hands because of judgmental attitudes or for wrongful thinking.  There is no gain for those who try to be God in the lives of others only the fruit of the kill.  People act out on what they believe to be known by their instinct nature instead of  letting the Spirit of God direct them and trust in the Lord to take care of what seemly seems injustice.  As I struggle to understand people, I also have learned to be aware of how the nature of man reacts from their heart.  I stand with God in forgiveness, holding on to the fruit of the Spirit with patience, long-suffering, temperance, love, joy, gentleness, self-control and peace.  However I learn to trust even when it hurts from the bite of a coyote, I will therefore not let it kill me.

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

Personal Boundaries of Conflict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11:16  A gracious woman gains respect

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abundant life, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, prayer

Invisible Solution

My husband taught on honor last night and boy did it hit us all in the face.  If only we would honor people for the gifts God has given them.  He used the example on how miracles didn’t happen because of the people’s unbelief.  The people could see Jesus has the carpenter’s son but not as the messiah, the One with the gifts freely to give.  We as children of God posses the same gifts but at the same time people do not honor our gifts and they only see us as so and so’s son or daughter.  People tend to judge people from the past and not from the eye view of God.

A lady stood up in church and made the statement after the message.  She said, “If only faults of others were invisible or if we could see others as God sees us”.   Wow!  Wouldn’t the world be much better if we overlooked the faults of others and treated them as God treats us?  Wouldn’t it be great not to constantly compare yourself with others but with Jesus.  If we wouldn’t judge ourselves from others but from what we produce as we get closer to Him.  I remember at times past how my husband who is also my pastor would try to help me in being positive.  Now I know my husband very well including his past, his mistakes, his faults and failures but I also honor him as my pastor.

Today as you go about your day, when you see someone, will you honor them for what gifts they posses and overlook their faults or past ?  Can you treat them as God treats you?  Can you see them through God’s eyes?  I know this may seem impossible to do and that is to love people for who they are in Christ.  However, Jesus has called all of us to love despite our human failures or past faults and with keeping that in mind, he also gives us the same kind of love to make invisible other people’s faults.

Prayer:  Lord I pray today that from now on, I can honor people for what you have given them.  I am thankful for the gifts you have given all of us, therefore I pray manifestations of those gifts be ordained in my life and the life of others. I want to see others as you see me. In Jesus name.  Amen.

Matthew 10:41 New International Version (©1984)
Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.