It’s been awhile since I posted last and I’m happy to say, I haven’t been gone forever, just busy. Today, I’d like to invite you to join us. We’ll be doing our first 8 week Bible study/workshop on the “5 Basics for Growth” Book. As I’ve been preparing for this workshop setting, I realised that each chapter touches on a subject in a very simple way that could be studied in far more depth. We are going to have so much fun, and don’t worry there’s not a ton of homework, just a ton of learning. Here is a video commercial that I hope you’ll all share on your social media pages.
Have you noticed that some people never change for the better? They just stay in the same old ruts they were in, in their twenties, and by the time they are forty or fifty there isn’t that shift of maturity and growth. They just manage to be more opinionated about the same things. Sometimes these people come in and out of Bible Studies and meetings but you see them struggle with the same issues over and over. Do you know why that is?
People can hold the truth of God’s Word, but it will never hold them unless they walk in it.
The biggest little commandment in the Word of God is do. “Do” causes change, growth, the abundant life even! But if we just listen but never put into practice the manifestations, or the principles of practice, we never get results.
It’s most obvious when the chips are down in a person’s life. Like in the Apostle Paul’s for instance. Here was a man who had a celebrated and high-ranking career as a Pharisee. He studied under one of the “Greats” of his time. If he asked for a request from the government, he was taken seriously. Very seriously. He thought he was doing God a favor by killing and imprisoning Christians. He was on the inside of everything political and religious in Jerusalem. He probably even attended the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He was zealous over his opinions.
All that changed one day…
1 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought [him] into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.” Acts 9:1-9
Saul or Paul, had an encounter that threw every belief he held dear into the fire. What was he going to do? Now, he could have refused to change. He could have mouthed platitudes to God, or could’ve gone to the temple in that state of blindness and searched out help from one of his Pharisee buddies. Right? He could’ve went back to doing the traditional cleansing of his roots. He could’ve asked to be taken back to Jerusalem. But instead Saul/Paul, decided to DO what Jesus Christ asked, to the letter. He waited. It’s a good thing too, because another man named Ananias had a choice to “Do” God’s will as well.
“10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. 11 And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened.” vs. 10-19
We get results when we do.
Even if we are afraid, even if we doubt what we are hearing, we get the results when we do the Word of God and the Word is the Will of God.
What is God asking you to do? Has He been clear about a change in your life, but you refused to walk in His guidance? Why? What’s holding you back? Or more importantly, what do you have to lose? You’ve done things your way for your entire life, what could hurt to do things a little different for once and get amazing results?
I’d start here. Ask God; “If you were me God, what would you do today?”
God bless you!
Perfect peace. Is it possible? What does it mean? Does it mean everything is still and quiet in the house? Does it mean that no problems exist? No drama? Not a peep of misunderstanding? Does it mean that you always know what to do in every situation, with every person you come across?
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” Isaiah 26:3-4
These verses are taken from a chapter of upheaval in Israel. The children of Israel were dying. Their temple, their lands, their women were being invaded and here Isaiah, the prophet had to keep his calm. He had to encourage God’s people.
Let’s fast forward to just after Jesus died.
“Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, [and looked] into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” John 20 10-13
Imagine this moment for Mary. Here her teacher, savior and friend was supposed to be entombed and needing care. She had come from desperate grief and chaos to prepare him properly for the burial. But he was gone.
I’m going to play you an old song now by Dean Ellenwood.
“14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary.” vs. 14-16
He was alive!
Back to my question. How do we get to perfect peace? Sometimes we just have to remember that our savior has come, he conquered death so that we could live. He conquered it so we could really live! And some day soon he’s coming back for us.
Let those words sink deep into your heart and life. Jesus Christ is the prince of Peace, and God is the Author of if. Embrace the truth. Trust in it. No matter what chaos we have to deal with, we can be alive! ZoE is the Greek word for life, and it means to energize, liven, make a live and animate. We have life, and we have it more abundantly because of what Jesus Christ went through. Peace, is living in that truth.
God bless you today!
Our criticisms are ours alone to carry. They do nothing but prevent strong relationships, strong self-esteem and rob us and others of a greater sense of accomplishment. We alone live in isolation from them.
I have felt the brunt of other people’s criticism, at times, and realized that I don’t need to carry someone else’s opinion of me around with me. That burden is their hardship. I can leave their opinions right where I found them, with none the worse for wear. You see, I get to decide what information I keep. I get to stop hurtful criticisms before I take them personally. And I alone allow the good things into my heart like the Word of God.
It reminded me of this fabulous verse.
“Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Our heart is our inner most thoughts of our mind. This should be a tightly controlled secure zone. No thoughts get in or out with a complete screening by the guard (you) and the Keeper, (God).
We’ve been told a lie.
From our teenage years up we start putting ourselves down. We start comparing and getting lots of outside information about our inner thought life. We decide early to take it into our hearts and believe it. But we aren’t taught how to filter and guard that information, or judge whether it is good for us to hear. Until one day we become our own worst enemy! Now we can’t trust even our own thoughts and mind because it will attack.
Do you know what cancer is? It’s when our own physical cells turn against us. Our bodies naturally want to heal. But cancer and AIDS and lots of other diseases, make our bodies fight that good natural order. It eats us from the inside out. Suddenly, we can’t trust our own cells to know what’s good for them. We have to inundate them with something radical and change their attitudes.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (about yourself)
Lie not one to another (or to yourself), seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”
Other people did this stuff to us, they trained us, so now we do it to ourselves. Yet there is no profit in it. We have to decide to take in the new radical change and trust that God knows what is good for us to think, hear, speak and believe. His word is pure. There are no toxins!
As you read this section think of how you treat yourself…
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another (yourself!), and forgiving one another (yourself!), if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (for yourself!)
And above all these things put on charity (agape), which is the bond of perfectness (maturity).
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (for yourself!)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:12-17
You were created for success in all things. You were created to do good works by your Father. He loves and wants you to see the highest and best potential in your life. Sometimes that means forgetting the criticisms and clinging to the truth about yourself. When changing your attitude and renewing your mind about yourself, …
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” vs 23
It takes hard work.
You have to stop yourself mid-thought and change the direction. You have to develop new habit patterns of thinking God’s Word about yourself.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
It is called pride when you exalt other opinions over God’s. That includes your opinions about yourself. Isn’t pride what got the devil thrown out of heaven?
You have to decide to leave other people’s criticism and condemnation on the road where you found it. God thinks you’re worth that and HE knows everything. He especially knows what’s best for us.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:5-6
We want to do the truth!
God bless you today!
EXERCISES FOR PRACTICAL LIVING
This is a new section. I’m going to add in a little exercise that you can do to practice this principle.
What you’ll need:
- Empty Notepad
- 30 Minutes of Quiet time
Sit comfortably and speak in tongues for 5 minutes while controlling your thoughts. Think only of yourself, your body, your mind, and your healing.
Open your eyes and ask God these kind of questions:
- God, if you were me, how would you think of My life?
- God, if you were me, how would you think of me personally?
- God, if you were me, what kind of person do you think I am?
- God, if you were me, how would you change how I think of myself.
- God, if you were me, what would you shoot for in my life goal-wise?
- God, if you were me, what area would you say I’m best at.
When you think of answers, write them down. Write down the first thing that pops into your head. If you see anything written that is unedifying, a criticism, or negative, that thought was not from God. Soon you’ll be able to suss out the thoughts He gives and your thoughts. So go back again and again.
Repeat exercise everyday for 5 days, then ever other day for the next 10.
After that, ask God for a prescription for further doses of this medicine. He may say, take a dose once a week for the next year, He may say more or less.
Keep in mind this is your walk with Him. It will rise or fall to the degree of seriousness, effort and believing you put into it.
I heard once this statement, “The beginning of knowledge is after you think you know it all”. LET God in. Let Him correct what the World has taught you about yourself. Trust me you are worth it!
What a joy it is to belong to the Church of God!
When we belong to the Church, we belong to the greatest and most powerful body in the world; there is nothing like the Church anywhere. The Church has such great power that even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. That is why the devil cannot harm the people of the Church when they know the name of Jesus Christ and use that name, believing in it. Can you see why our prayers must be answered when we believe that Christ is in us? We can receive anything from God that He has promised in the Word if we only know and believe it. Everything that has been revealed in the Word we can thank God for, and, if we believe, it will come to pass.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:20
Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks always.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
What a name!
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
You have been washed and sanctified, and you have been justified in His name; but you must receive it before you can manifest it. WOW! Isn’t that awesome! We have power in His Name. We have the power of attorney that when we use the name of Jesus Christ, powerful, positive things must happen. No other body of people has this kind of witness!
“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:14,15
We all want to belong to something bigger than we are. What about belonging to the Family of God because of His son Jesus Christ? How much bigger can you get?
But, there’s one problem.
Less than 2% of all Christians ever truly depend on and rise to the greatness of just manifesting the power of their own birthright. Less than 2%! As a result, we have sick among us. There is strife and discord among the Church of God and nobody seems to know how to lead anymore.
We have the power to move the very gates of hell! But do we use it for it’s purpose? Do we love one another with it? Do we minister and pray for each other when we see a family member get hit?
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” 1 John 3:23
The Church, in which you belong, has the power of attorney, the right to use the name of Jesus Christ. Now let’s believe together to bring positive results into our lives through this powerful name. All you have to do is use it. It wasn’t earned, God gave it by grace. Nothing you DO will take it away. You have it! I guarantee that today, living in this world you will find some reason to manifest it. All you have to do is realize you’re own right and power as a born-again member of the Church of God.
“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.” John 10:10
You must claim that life yourself. You have the right to activate the powerful name of Jesus Christ and live the more than abundant life!
God bless you today!
My family and I strolled along in Sam’s Club looking at the bulk mayonnaise and and laughed about eating it in every meal for the next year, when all of a sudden, “SHE“ walked around the corner.
She was my school-yard nemesis.
With razor-sharp insults and a wicked sense of humor I had been the butt of each cruel joke. This girl, now a woman, stood before me with no clue to her destructive devices.
She waved and I said, a lame, “Hello”. My heart thundered in my chest as my sweet husband, thinking she was an old friend, expounded to her all my recent painting conquests and our business successes, which she had already heard of. I waited for the sneer and lifted upper lip, accompanied by the usual sarcastic taunt.
The devil is a bully, and an accuser and full of insults. She had been his bludgeoning tool and my kryptonite.
My son spoke up and asked if she knew that he wanted a train set for his birthday. (He was so innocent.) My blood pressure spiked, my heart crashed and clattered against my rib cage. My instincts to protect him had me pulling him closer to my side.
She smiled and remarked at his wonderful choice of a train.
I tried to calm myself, but also puzzled at this very emotional reaction that was kicking up into a real storm. I asked myself, “What is it about this girl? She has obviously changed.” Then I knew.
As we walked away, I said nothing to my husband. How could I? He didn’t know that this woman had been one of the bullies I dreaded most during junior high and high school.
“Bretheren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize fo the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
NOW what am I supposed to do God? I felt the pall of adolescent humiliation clenching my senses. I was in middle school gym class all over again as I stretched up to all of three inches tall as she looked down her nose at my few extra pounds. There’s no getting around that I “FEEL” a very specific emotion. So what do I do now? How can I be an over-comer?
How do I walk in love?
How do I salvage my standing on the promises of God? It must have been the same way for David, standing before Goliath.
A wise man once told me, “You can’t help it if a bird poops on your head, but you CAN keep it from building a nest there.” And a bird had just dropped a load the size of Texas on me. So now what was I going to do? How was I going from zero to hero?
After we finished shopping, I got in my car and took a breath. The pressing down on me still had its hold. I knew I’d been spiritually attacked as well as mentally. I knew that when the devil throws the past at you, whatever you do, don’t overreact. But there the emotions swirled. My heart still beating irregular, my palms were still very wet. What was I going to do? So I asked God, how do I get over this?
“Sing my songs.”
So I started singing. I sang loud and long, and probably off-key. Isaac watched from the back as my smile grew, my mind lifted, the whole of our presence and mood became light again. Every horrible memory, every mean thing and every tangible or intangible power she held over me disappeared.
Here’s what I took out of all this. No matter how big our britches get in the Word, we still live in this world. The devil can still find things to cause us confusion, but God is greater because He can help us solve things from the inside out. We don’t have to live as victims to the devil’s sick twisted games. I prayed for her. I prayed for her life. I prayed for her. And you can too.
Our emotions were given to us by a Holy and Loving Father, but they are not our masters. We still have freewill to overcome with God, or to let them, our emotions, run our lives. Fear, intimidation, and bullying, is never from God and God can help us defeat them. I’m not sure why I told you all this today, but maybe it will help you overcome too in a stressful situation.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsover state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:11-13
God bless you today.
It was April 12th, 1993, at 3:55 pm., He was a bitter, sarcastic old man wearing Birkenstock and a condescending attitude like an old hat. I still remember the lecture he gave me that day, criticizing my lack of altruism and my over abundance of self-absorption. He was supposed to be my coach. He was supposed to know what was best for me and but instead had a list of the reasons I was so wrong in my optimism. I was shocked. Ugh. Just thinking about how he tried to intoxicate me with negativity makes my head swim.
This was not the first time that happened, nor would it be the last. It would happen again and again and again. Every time there is a hit like that, I’d go into introspection mode. As I’m sure many of you do. The last time I had a blow like this was a few weeks ago, the culprit, was me. I told MYSELF that I wasn’t okay, just being me. How did that happen? I suppose it came from years of outside influence. But now I see it. Now I see how my own accusations have changed me. Maybe even stopped me from reaching for a goal or trying something new.
What does God think about me?
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2,3-4
Look at all the wonderful things God put inside me? God gave me a way to be right. Look at these verse. I am a partaker of the divine nature. So when I criticize myself, I am partly criticizing that nature. That’s GOD’S Nature. There is never anything to criticize about Him! That means I need to start seeing that I have more potential, more love, more of something special inside me then I realized. Why do I have to put myself down? Because I don’t have respect and love for what God is doing inside me. It’s like the fifty things someone says you did right but the one place you need self-improvement eats at you like a canker sore.
I went to my son’s graduation last night. Being five years old and graduating kindergarten is a big deal! But I sat saddened by the comments of one particularly religious looking Grandma in the crowd. Her toxic remarks kept coming and coming. “He’s so tired! Look at him yawn.” “His mother should’ve given him a nap today.” “That teacher needs to learn how to control those kids.” “He picks his nose too much.” And then after an especially adorable comment from her grandson, she criticized sarcastically, “Oh, my what a genius.” She was poking fun at him. This thread of acidic comments went out into the universe and I prayed that my son never heard them. It was bad enough that I heard them.
It made me feel sorry for the bitterness down in her heart. She couldn’t even say two nice things about the boy. Then I realized, I was raised that way too. No wonder I fight with cutting myself down and staying positive. I had no chance when I was young. All that optimism was smothered.
I decided today, those things would change. I would watch what I think, and watch what I say with more care than I ever have.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” James 1:26
It’s time to take my words more serious. It’s time to change history going forward. I will not waste my breath on idle criticisms and belittling thoughts about myself. I will control my tongue.
God Bless You Today!