Abundant life, Encouragement, Love and Life of a Testimony

New Seasons

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

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

Advertisements
Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness

Changing Victim Mindset

In one of the classes I offer, we are talking about our thought process and how it creates mindsets.  I have come to realize there is a clear distinct difference in having a victim mentality.  It starts with the way you think with negative self talk.  It is believing false assumptions and grasping a victim mindset. Most people don’t know they have a victim mindset however those around them eventually see the true picture by the reactions they take.  The victim surrenders power over their life to others because their life is driven by their environment and are they are often bound by unforgiveness. Victims tend to see the control and responsibility for their situation as belonging to others and blame the bad things that happened to them on someone else.  In other words, “I suffer today because of someone else.”

In counseling I often tell others life can knock us down at times, but the past or current situations cannot control who we are or what holds for our future.   Our past doesn’t control or determine our future nor does our environment control us, only we can determine our future by taking responsibility for our own actions and thoughts today. This is what I try to convey to those who have a victim mindset and give them exercises on how to change.

I remember times where I had faulty thinking and I believed others were always trying to make me mad until I had Jeff to remind me that wasn’t true.  I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know why I thought that.  It started with an argument between me and him and I automatically owned the untrue thoughts that everyone was out to try to just aggravate me or come against me, not intentional of course but it seemed everyone in my life at the time was making me irritated. That is when I realized I was being controlled by how I reacted to my environment and not by the truth.  I realized I had to take my thoughts captive to Christ and what His word said about me and my life instead of believing that others were out to “get me”.  Call me silly but it seems when you get in that type of mindset, everything is just “bad” or negative thus creating a snow ball effect of bad thoughts, decisions and words spoken leading to situations that seem to get out of control.  It puts you into fight mode, justification for your actions mode and throw a fit mode to tell the world the wrong that has been done to you.  I am thankful I had a husband who put a stop to this before it got out of control because I couldn’t have imagined going through this mental torment longer than a day.

When something happens in life causing stress or pain, a person with a victim mindset usually blames someone else for their suffering without taking responsibility for their actions in the dramatic situation.  (“This happened to me because of you!” statement example or “You made me angry!”) This person usually has low a self-esteem, intimacy issues and becomes angry as they have a feeling of helplessness.  It is though the truth or other choices are simply invisible. The victim feels their life is just a roller coaster of bad circumstances one right after another.  They may even feel as though it is fate or that they are being punished.  With this type of mindset a person feels important when they make an issue by blaming others to get attention while portraying a feeling of helplessness thus creating “I am the victim here”.  This in turn satisfies the ego to make others think you are helpless in the given situation. They usually like to tell others their side of the story in order to make others feel sorry for their circumstances and help them through the situation.  This mindset affects the mood, behavior and happiness not only in themselves but also others around them.  More likely others will not continue to help them for it seems it is one continuing saga since their situation continues in one form or another.  My father-in-law always said, “You can’t continue to help someone if they don’t help themselves”.  Victims focus on what they cannot control therefore their circle of influence shrinks, in other words, no one wants to be around them after a period of time fearing they are always asking for help or leaving a negative influence behind.  It also focuses on the negative aspects of life therefore decisions made will be based on wrong assumptions.  Thus creating more bad decisions which lead to more pain and failure which encourages this victim mindset to continue. This is why it seems that life continues to shell out bad things.  We have learned that thoughts lead to actions, actions lead to habits, habits lead to character and character leads to destiny.  It all starts with a thought.  We are here today because of the thoughts we had yesterday or the day before.  Therefore it starts with thoughts and we need to change ‘our mind’.

Victims can feel they have certain rights that the world owes them, and are disappointed or angry when the world doesn’t deliver. They tend to feel very strongly about “their rights” and they way things should be done for them. The focus is “what can I get?” from this situation.  What people don’t realize they can emerge as victor or victim and their actions prove what mindset controls them.  We cannot always control what happens to us but we can control how to react to it.

How can we help others or ourselves in this mindset?  We must first realize how to control our own negative self talk.  We all must learn to shut down negative opinions from others.  We also must learn the skills to overcome our thought process.  Instead of taking pity we can learn to rise above events and refuse to allow others to rule our life by being proactive instead of reactive. Proactive people focus on the things they can control.  The most effective way to overcome the victim mentality is to start taking responsibility for every action and circumstance in life instead of blaming others for current circumstance.  Proactive people’s lives are driven by the values they employ in how they choose to respond.  When something happens we must ask ourselves what we did wrong in the given situation so we will learn wisdom not to repeat it.  If we don’t learn, guess what happens, life continues to shell out the “bad circumstances” cause we haven’t corrected the victim mindset, therefore we continue to blame others for where we are in life.   We must release others for their failings to meet our expectations and accept responsibility for our own actions.  We first must start thinking positive and believe people are not out to get us or out to make us miserable or out to sabotage our happiness.  We must replace negativity with positive thinking.

As the Word tells us, “renew our mind daily”. When we learn the wisdom we will stop blaming others on our current environment or past situations.  Jesus never blamed others or wanted to tell others his side of the story to make others feel sorry for him but instead prayed for them and died for them.

 

 

Prayer:  Lord help me change my thoughts into Your thoughts when I fall into the victim mindset.  Help me to recognize the truth instead of lies.  Help me to remember You are always in control even when I am not.  Help to be proactive and not reactive to my environment or current situation and to think positive.  Help me to own my responsibilities and not blame others for how I am feeling or what I am going through at the present time.  Help me to pray for others instead of wanting to take revenge on others because of my circumstances.  Help me to forgive others, love others and reach out to others.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:23 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Abundant life, forgiveness, Leadership

Warning of an Infectionious Parasite

Do you know about this little bug?  We must be careful because at one time or another in our life it tries to make us it’s host.  It will continue to feed and infect with its poison until we decide to rid ourselves with the ancient old remedy.  This parasite spreads quickly and takes on as many hosts as it can find.  It can last for a few hours or a years.  It can be hatched from pain.

Life has many twists and turns and working in the counseling business I hear damaging and hurtful stories repeating the same thing over and over.  Whether it was during childhood, during marriage or a trusted friend there is something they all have in common.  It is hurt and it is unforgiveness.  Both these two play an important part in every situation and in every circumstance. Unforgiveness is a parasite and it feeds on the anger and hurt of hits host, finding its most satisfying nourishment in human pain.  It thrives on the cycle of replayed scenes recalled anguish and rehashed justification for holding fast to grudges.  Essentially, unforgiveness grows plump on desire for revenge. There is an old saying, “We are most like beast when we kill, we are most like men when we judge and we are most like God when we forgive.”

Extending grace is something we must ask ourselves if it is worth it, and the answer is yes.  Forgiveness is a choice.  It is a decision to hand the scalpel to God and allow Him to remove the tumor of offense from the heart.  No one deserves forgiveness but it is something we must give if we want to live a life of peace.  Forgiving is not easy especially to those who have hurt or abused us but if we truly want to be free we must.

Who do you think is pushing that rewind button on the movie screen of your mind?  It is the enemy who wants to keep us bound to past hurts.  If we choose to forgive, God turns our pain into purpose, our hope and our misery into ministry.

If we could only see what this parasite does to us then we might decide to learn to let things go.  It infects your mind, your love, your emotions and your decision-making in using wisdom.  Smashing this bug is not so easy sometime and it isn’t just a feeling. The meaning of forgiveness is “to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go free, let escape.  Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate the most.  It is putting the past behind completely and moving forward by forgiving quickly and completely.  Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

Forgiveness is letting go of your need for revenge, it is cutting the person loose, refusing to let bitterness and hatred rule your life and leaving the past behind by not allowing it to control your actions or emotions.

What is the remedy?We shouldn’t govern our actions with feeling but with the Word of God.
New Living Translation (©2007) Luke 6:37-38
“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. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”  While listening to a successful pastor from Texas, he stated that many times we do not understand verse 38.  He says it doesn’t have to do with money giving but judging, condemning  and forgiving.  He stated that if a person continues to judge, condemn or promote unforgiveness it will be given back to him even the more so plus some.

Here are a few steps in which will help you clean out the house of unforgiveness.

1.  Write down the name of the person who hurt you. (rape, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, betrayal, desertion, rejection, etc)

2.  Write down how you feel about that person.

3.  Decide to forgive.  God has given you power to forgive but it begins with a will to forgive.

4.  Take your list to God and confess your forgiveness to Him.  Say, “I forgive ________ for __________.  At this moment I choose not to hold offense against them but put them in your hands.  I pray that you will heal my emotional wounds and help me be able to help someone else with te same comfort you have given me.  I cut ________loose. ”

5.  As a visual exercise, destroy the list.

Abundant life, forgiveness, Leadership, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Salvation

Thou Shall Have

We often think about the ten commandants has being a set of golden rules that we should always follow since we are actually Christians.  These ten commandments are very well spoken of course since they come right from God and can cover just about any particular subject.  Most all of our issues that we deal with in some form or fashion has something to do with us breaking one of these simple but profound statements that God wants us to obey.

The first commandment, we push aside and say that this one doesn’t even pertain to us most of the time.  I mean it is not like we live in India where there is a god on every block or even dressing up and calling yourself a god.  We don’t do that here in America we think, but let us take a closer look.  A god is something you worship.  To worship means something that you adore and put before everything or everyone else. It means to adore and respect.  My husband said something in his message yesterday that stirred my heart, he said, “When you think you have everything figured out, then you are your own god.”  This got me to thinking about self worship.  I even posted on my facebook page and even considered revising not wanting to sound like a judge or to condemning:

Life is never good to you when you are only good to yourself…..when you think you can control others by your actions or attitude, you become your own god. It’s all about others, giving, forgiving and encouraging. Let us leave this year behind and look forward to a great 2011!

I came across an article on this matter and here are a few viewpoints to consider.

Self-Worship

When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified in our worship, then we put God below ourselves as though He had been made for us rather than that we had been made for Him. -Stephen Charnock

Many times I wonder which god is being worshipped in our churches, and where this god developed his characteristics.

Some people think the purpose of a church service is to entertain, exhilarate, and energize.

Some of us go to church, not so much to worship God, to stand in awe of His grace to us in Christ, to stir up our affections for Him but rather to consume, sit back, fancy the musical experience and apply the self-help advice we gleaned during the sermon. The pastor is expected to be to be clean-cut, non-offensive and smooth, the musicians to be talented and contemporary, the congregation to be good-looking, middle-class, look and act like you.

God should be central to worship, not you … that is, He should be the central focus in our song and proclamation of the word. Self-focused, self-absorbed psychological sessions whose main purpose is to generate good feelings about ourselves is idolatry, a breach of the first/second commandments.  Instead of finding the service meaningful and God-glorifying, centering around the work of Christ, many spend their time asking themselves what they got out of it. Rather, we need to be asking ourselves, “Was God glorified in our time of corporate worship today?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This put me into an entire different mode in honoring God for who he is, not what can God do for me today.  It is sad today to think Christians (although saved)  may continue to live their life honoring their wishes instead of what God truly wants.  Good saved people continue to seek what God can do for them and fulfilling their needs instead of fulfilling the great commission in loving others or reaching out.    I myself find this a training ground to not always insist on what I want or demand things to change but try to see if I am breaking this holy commandment or the others to follow.  I want a God in my life who knows what is best for me, not a god like me because I am selfish in nature and want my way.  This blog is totally not to offend but to purposely make us think about our current situations or past issues in which we demanded justice or our own self-gratification.  We keep secrets, tell white lies, become jealous, justify our actions & attitudes, kill with our tongue or poison others and think no one is listening or watching us, even demanding God to do something about it.  We set ourselves up for failure when we claim to be our own god.  Let us look at the first commandment once again:

New International Version (©1984)
“You shall have no other gods before me.

Prayer:  As I end this blog today and plan for the new year, I repent for my selfish actions, my attitudes and rebellious actions.  I will change Lord to be more like you and put myself under your feet in true worship and holiness.  It is all about you, not me.  It is all about serving others, not me.  It is all about growing your kingdom, not mine.  It is all about being holy, not right in my eyes.  It is all about showing your character, not mine.  In Jesus Name I pray!  Amen

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

My Favorite Things

I have a list of my favorite things in this world.  Of course I would put God first and there is no questioning about the creator of the universe being my favorite while I am in His presence.  Then if we are talking about people in general I would also consider my husband and my boys at the top of the list.

As far as things go, I do have a list of favorite things, it is my life.   Serve me Coke, not Pepsi cause I am a coke girl and I love to drink my coke while eating fresh guacamole and chips at a mexican restaurant.  Coffee in the morning is another favorite of mine with just a little tad of sugar and cream, French vanilla please.  I also like sweet tea with lemon or the famous lemon tea served at Mrs. Janie’s Tea House.  I also love Bubble Gum and if I want to get picky, the old-fashioned bubble gum or the one you get out of the machines is best.  I gladly pay 25 cents for a ball of colored gum.  Yes, I am addicted to sugar but it makes me feel good, releasing those serotonin in my brain that makes me smile.  I also love Italian food, bruschetta, pasta and Alfredo so bad I do want to visit Italy some day to capture the real experience.  Now, I don’t just love the sweets but also fresh herbs, fresh veggies from the garden and things that are good for the body.  I love to cook but if I do my body would pay the price cause I am not so disciplined when it comes to portions.  I love walking on the Beach, swimming in the clearest water like in the Caribbean.  I love a good self-help book, a romantic comedy movie but I also love to be creative with making things, living adventurous, making people smile and helping people grow spiritually.  To top off the day, I want my hubby to rub my feet which releases high dosage of sedative into my body knocking me out for a peaceful sleep.  Yes, you can laugh at all my favorite things and I am sure you have them too.  Your favorite things tell much about you.  I believe I have summed up who I am just by telling you what my favorite things are.  I don’t know what I would do if I could wrap all these up in one day, I guess I would feel like I was in Alice in Wonderland running out of time trying to do all these things in one day.

Can you make a list of your favorite things?  Think.  Do you know that we can get over our troubles and woes by thinking about our favorite things. Things that make us smile and feel warm inside will make our mood changes positively instead of dwelling on the negative.  Now this mood may not last for ever,  but it releases the creative energy to problem solve the issue in which we may be facing.  In today’s world, we need ideas in order to problem solve.  The expansion of thinking about our favorite things helps to build our physical, intellectual and social resources. When people are stressed, anxious, or frightened, as many of us can find ourselves at times, we physically and mentally clench up. Trying to come up with an answer to our complex question automatically shrinks especially when stressed, and it is at the very moment we need our mind to expand.  At the very point we need to be more creative, we benefit enormously from connecting with some positive emotions.  These “favorite things” help create a positive mood of excitement, energy and pleasure, from which we can creatively generate ideas to solve any presenting issues or problems consciously.   Asking people to describe favorite things such as food, hobbies, pets, holidays, restaurants, music, movies can facilitate a mood shift into a more positive state surprisingly quickly.  We can set goals for our vision for our future but also help others create healthy and normal boundaries,  giving optimism and hope just by thinking on our favorite things.  Go ahead, make a list of your favorite things and share with others by leaving a comment below!

Prayer:  Lord, I thank you that you give us a list of favorite things that help us feel great and help expand our mind to make good decisions for our future.  You have created us to love life, to love others and to most of all love you.  You are the one who helps us love as you love.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

New Living Translation (©2007) Genesis 27:4
Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you…

Ephesians 2:10 New International Version (©1984)
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Encouragement, Made you smile

Covered By Vomit

I remember when Lyle was a baby I had him up in the air over my face making him laugh when all of a sudden a gush came out of his mouth and landed on my face and in my mouth.  Regurgitated formula is worse by taste and smell the second time around.  There were also times in the middle of the night where one of the boys came to my bedside to tell me they were sick and then up-chucked in my bed, on my hair, on my clothes and on the floor.  There were times where they didn’t always make it to the bathroom or they missed the toilet completely.  This was a chore to try to clean the floor and the wall or the side of the toilet and if you are a mother you will eventually have stories about gross vomit, the smell, and the chunks of food you must clean up.

Are you getting sick yet?  The funny thing about these stories is that you don’t have to teach someone how to vomit.  It is an automatic reflex of getting out what has made one sick.  In medical terms it is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one’s stomach through the mouth and sometimes through the nose.  It is an automatic reaction of what that is inside and is forced to come out.  I can tell you by experience that eating popcorn along with tootsie rolls and then getting sick is not the greatest combination in which to throw up!

Now what does this have to do with Biblical principles you might ask?  There are many people today that go around just vomiting on everyone, not in the physical sense but in the realm of attitudes, motives, and non-christian behavior.  Can you say, negativity?  Have you ever had a person who comes up to you and the first thing they want to do is puke all over you with gossip, negativity or downgrading someone?  How about nagging, name calling or bashing someone’s character just because you didn’t agree with them?  If we could just for one day see in the spiritual of the case of vomit covered people we might think twice about opening our mouth before expelling the disgusting puke in which no one wants to clean up or be covered by it.  My point is, vomit is the result of being sick on the inside!

English Standard Version (©2001) Mark 7:12-23  After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man who can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.[“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]  When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.“All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

7:14-23 Our wicked thoughts and affections, words and actions, defile us, and these only. As a corrupt fountain sends forth corrupt streams, so does a corrupt heart send forth corrupt reasonings, corrupt appetites and passions, and all the wicked words and actions that come from them. A spiritual understanding of the law of God, and a sense of the evil of sin, will cause a man to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to keep down the evil thoughts and affections that work within.

How do we cure it?  Do we continue to vomit until what is on the inside comes out and then it makes us feel better or do we take medicine to counteract the process so that we don’t vomit and affect others?  Do you know that the word of God teaches us to meditate on His Word day and night and hide it in our heart.  The word, meditate comes from the root word, meaning the same thing as medicine.  Therefore the Word of God will be medicine to our inner being if we search, read and learn it.  Nevertheless it will prevent us from being negative on the inside therefore preventing us from puking on the outside.

Prayer:  Lord, I know you are constantly working on us with your Spirit to teach us and guide us, please give us direction and keep our heart pure.  Let our actions and our motives along with our attitudes be of your Spirit.  Let us focus on your Word and hide it within our heart so that we may not sin nor vomit on others in this process called life.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Abundant life, Encouragement, Leadership

Capture Your Thoughts

A mark of spiritual maturity is the ability to examine our thoughts to determine whether they are worthy, healthy, and God honoring.  By allowing God to govern our thoughts we are more able to balance things in our life and find much-needed rest.  If the enemy consumes our mental activity it poisons our desires and robs us of joy, we can become exhausted, frustrated and ill not only physical but also spiritual.  Examine the thoughts you have had today.  What were they and how did they affect you?  How much time did you spend comparing yourself to someone else, feeling sorry for yourself or wishing your life could be better?  Do you worry about tomorrow?  Do you engage in gossip that is destructive and consumes your mind?  We must choose the voice we listen to.  We must carefully decide even when we see or hear something, we must focus on the message it is trying to send into our mind and into our heart.    It is important to take rest when you find yourself overloaded mentally with thoughts that should be thrown in the trash.  How do we focus on the good and not listen to the bad?  Find rest and peace with God.  We should turn every thought and every seed that is put into us over to His power and strength.  I look at most thoughts as either weeds or fruit giving life.  How do I know if my life has been fertilized by weeds?  I feel down, depressed, anxiety, and I question my faith in God.  I also question those who God has put over me or feel angry toward them and others.  I know I have a short fuse, grumpy and I can’t sleep.  How do I know I have been fertilized by positive thoughts or word seeds?  I feel good about myself, can be productive throughout the day, my attitude is happy and people want to be around me. I feel rested and energized, eager to work for the Kingdom.

These three simple things can help you find rest and stay focused on positive and Godly thoughts.

Divert  Daily :  Take a daily break to focus on what God wants you to think about.  Do this while resting, put your feet up on your lunch break or take a 15 min. power nap.

Weekly Withdraw:  Take a break once a day to enjoy a hobby that makes you feel like your good at.  Let your mind be consumed on what you do well and enjoy.  If you can, take a day where you do something you enjoy.  It could be window shopping, a movie, date, alone or with a friend.   Do something that helps you rest, keeps your thoughts focused on one positive thing.

Annually Vacation:  Go on a vacation to abandon your routine to find rest and give yourself a break from others who may be influencing you.

If you rest you will find that you may grow stronger and when you find time to allow God to govern your thoughts you live a much more productive life!

Prayer:  Lord, I focus on you today.  Take every thought captive by your spirit and let my thoughts be consumed by you.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

2 Corinthians 10:5 New American Standard Bible (©1995)
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Weird Stuff

Struggling From Sin

Yesterday I was a real grouch.  It was like negative energy was trying to force its way into my brain and my life.  I know at times my attitude and wanting what I want can really kick in and the sorry thing about it is that I know that I am being difficult.  For instance, we decided to go to this conference in Louisiana which was a nine-hour trip.  My husband suggested that we take his mother.  OK with me, however he decided to take her car and not our Land Rover truck.  Both has the same amount of space but I don’t necessarily like riding in the back unless I can sit in the middle and look out.  She has no middle seat in her car and it doesn’t ride as smooth (at times I felt like I was on a roller coaster).  This was the first of many irritations.  The second was that I forgot my iPod, therefore I was forced to listen to nothing except them talk and I was again out of my daily routine.  We drove most of the way and spent the night in Mississippi.  Cracker Barrel for breakfast was on the agenda but I didn’t have time to research what I could eat there.  You see, I have been on this calorie count for a week and limit myself to 300 calories a meal.  One biscuit was over 150 calories!  I got frustrated too when I requested the non-smoking section and then they seat you by the smoking section!  Ahhh!  I don’t have a problem with people who want to smoke but you know I cannot stand to be in the same room with cigarette smoke.  Both my parents smoked the entire time I lived with them.  The smoke in the car with the windows rolled up and the smell on my clothes made me hate cigarets.  Now since I can see how it has affected my father struggling with emphysema and gasping to breathe daily, smoking is notorious to me.  Yes, I was being a really big B if you know what I mean.  Being frustrated with the ride, the vehicle, not getting to eat what I want and then placing me in the smoking section I had all I could take.  I got up and left the restaurant, leaving my mother in law and husband sitting at the table ordering their own breakfast.  Call it PMS, call it negative attitude or call it sin.  Yet I was ready to cry cause I couldn’t control the circumstances around me.  I felt like my head was going to explode and I knew I was clinching my teeth and jaw.  Oh, I might add, I forgot my straight iron for my hair and Jeff had left our banner for our table to top off the day.  

I wanted to share this past few days with you because we all have similar days like these.  I am being honest which leads me to our next chapters of Romans.  We are all human and we are born in this world to sin.  I didn’t have to be difficult or have a bad attitude cause if everyone knows me I preach “don’t let your circumstances control you!”  However, I chose to let the outside affect my inside.  Today is much better although working and taking pictures makes me exhausted during these conferences but I enjoy meeting new people and learning to deal with myself and my many mood swings.  As you go throughout today and may find yourself sinking back into the old man and the nature of getting what you want to be thankful for what God has allowed you to experience.  God wants us to be thankful no matter what goes on around us.

Romans 7 14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.d I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22I love God’s law with all my heart. 23But there is another powere within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Prayer:  Today Lord I know you are always with me.  Please take care of my hormones today, no hot flashes please and forgive me of my attitude these last few days.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 🙂

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

Key to Living Life To The Fullest

Everyone has their good days and  bad days and we all sometimes struggle with life itself.  It is during the bad times or our moodiness we seem to lose it.  My husband reminds me sometimes about the spirit of offense.  How do we deal when others seem to get on our last nerve or if we think they are being difficult to work with?  He says the solution is ask yourself, “Does this matter offend God?”  If it is against anything of His word, then it should offend you.  If it doesn’t offend God and only yourself, then it is us we must change.  If we do something to promote change in others, the way we have church, service, works or whatever, and others get offended, how can we be positive about all of it through the transition?  That is the magic question.  We have some who stay behind, leave and stay sorrowful of life in ‘how it used to be’ .  Why do people insist on doing the same old thing over if it is not working, or if it has worked in the past but not now, then why should we not want to change?  Many people live in the good ole days or want to relive an experience with God.  Instead of keeping the relationship current and fluid, they relive the past.  The enemy would love to keep us all bound in routines of the same thing, never-changing and keeping stale relationships.  He wants us to keep saying we will someday change but never get around to it.  He wants us to think about how we used to serve God, or how close we use to be to God, or how the church used to be.  Satan wants us to continue in life as average and mundane, bound to problems instead of rising up above the problems.  God is fluid.  God is the same today, yesterday and forever but people change, generations change and abundant life is about change and we must be willing to change to be more like Him.

The next time I get upset, I must ask myself, “what I am upset about, is it getting God upset too?”  As Jesus once said, “A kingdom cannot be divided against itself”.  It will not stand.  A person is always growing older each day and there is no way we can capture time itself, we can just make use of the time to get closer to God, make a difference in the world and spread the Love to help others change too.  Don’t be the offense to others but choose to be more like Him.

Prayer:  Lord, I don’t ever want to offend others in my actions or words.  Keep me fresh and fluid to serve you and be what you want me to be.  Let me not poison others with what I think, but help me keep your statues, works and your attributes of who you are.  Let it manifest in me and in others to live above all things we face, including change.  I choose to be blessed and full of life!  Amen.

Jesus said in John 8:9-11

I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

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

Sticky Traps

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

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

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

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

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

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