Should You Vote in Election 2016?

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

CBS News: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Should I vote if I don’t like the candidate choices? Should I vote for Elvis (or other 3rd party)?

Are you feeling blasted, divided and confused on a new level about Election 2016? Are you sick of all the rhetoric? Both secular and Christian people seem to be in the same boat, confused, angry, and disgruntled. Many are choosing not to vote because neither candidate seems to have all or even some of the character traits we look for in a statesman for the highest office of President.

With all the information out there it’s hard to know who to believe.

3 things to consider as you weigh out your options:

1.The U.S. hangs in the balance

At least 3-5 Supreme Court Justices will be chosen by the next president. Your vote will have a deciding factor in whom is chosen. This will determine the path for America for generations to come. What are the BIG issues facing our nation and WHO do you want making those decisions in the Supreme Court? The president will be in office four years, maybe eight at most. Supreme Court Justices will be there a lifetime.

You can go to the websites of the Republican and Democratic parties and read what they stand for. Vote for the platform that supports key issues that will affect your children and grandchildren. This election will have a direct impact on THEM. Do you want the Constitution to be upheld? Or do you want a progressive doctrine that we have seen in the last year? Christians put in jail for disagreeing with an ideology or bakeries closed and religious freedom thrown out the door? (Unless you are Muslim, in which case they ignore your beliefs.) This is not the time to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best. If you don’t like the candidates vote for the platform that will choose Justices over the next 4-8 years that support what you hold most important.

2. Search out TRUTH and weigh it out by the BIG picture which is God’s laws and Kingdom principles.

I had a dream a couple of years ago. In that dream I flew to Heaven and into large room. In the room was a gigantic wooden desk. On a corner of that desk was a stack of  two desk organizers trays. On each tray was puzzle pieces in specific shapes standing on end in the shape of a nation. One nation represented on top and one nation represented on bottom. The pieces suddenly were jostled like a child’s Trouble Board with the POP-O-Matic dome in the center. Each piece became jumbled and chaotic. Then the nations changed and I could make out the shape of one was America. The puzzle pieces were in shapes of the states and some animals. When the the pieces were jostled like the dome on the Trouble Board game and became jumbled and chaotic one puzzle piece appeared in the center of the US, kinda over Missouri, and it said TRUTH in large letters. I woke up and knew to start praying for America for Truth and for all lies and corrupt behavior to be revealed and brought into the light…Everything done in secret brought into the light.

trouble-puzzle

 

I ask you to PRAY for Truth to be revealed during the next couple of weeks and even after.

I realize neither candidate is totally truthful. They are both carnal. However, I can guarantee one is way more deceitful than the other. More controversy surrounds Hillary Clinton than any other candidate ever during her entire 30 years in the public sector.

America is being shaken to the core. Every issue that has lied dormant is come out to show exactly how dependent on God we must become.

3. Remember the two P’s  “Pray and Praise” more than you listen to the media or the news outlets or Social Media.

Prayer and petitioning to God is our only hope. Praise releases His Presence.

Here’s what I decided to do…

First, I know I am voting for Trump.

Not because he is the best pick but because he will be the most fair to religious freedom, he will choose Supreme Court Justices that will uphold the Constitution and not use it to back their own ever-changing cultural agendas. He will be fearless to fight for our Nation and what is best for us. And I can honestly say that I see the media onslaught on his character as false. God sees the heart of a man. I see Trump like King David in the Old Testament, he was far from perfect. I see God’s hand on Trumps life right now. No other recent presidential candidate has ever been so clear as to his support of religious freedom. Look at his running mate!

(side-note if the elected president is killed which Vice-President do you want as your president??)

Second, I stopped listening to all the voices in the media and I am trusting God.

I am doing my part to vote for the platform that supports key points that are deal breakers for me….national security, abortion, Amendment 2, and religious freedoms.

I’m choosing to spend more of my time in prayer for Truth to come out and lies, deceit and corruption to be revealed.

Third, I am praising God more and more and declaring HIS Truth over us.

He loves us, He will never leave us, He will never forsake us! God is on the HIS throne and I serve HIM alone. No matter who is elected God is still in control of my life and HE will be with me. HE is my HOPE, not a president.

Notice, I am still voting because as God’s advocate, ekklesia on earth, and a citizen of this great-God-raised-up-nation- it is my right, duty and responsibility to vote. If I don’t vote, I have no right to gripe later. (SMILE)

As you prayerfully consider your choices in Election 2016, I am praying for you…the moral, value-based, good people of America. This election hurts your heart. It is the nastiest election campaigning in history.

The campaigns are almost over. Then begins the next presidency that will decide the future for the next 30-40 years, the America that your grand-children will grow up in. This is not the time to sit this one out!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the kind-hearted, good people, that you raised up in America for such a time as this. Remove blinders from our eyes and reveal TRUTH to our hearts. Give us a clear understanding of our choices and reveal YOUR heart to us. Remove the doubt and fear that causes the disappointment in our hearts and minds. Release hope and peace to us, your children.

I release TRUTH over America that every corruption will be revealed and laid out in the open for all to see. Expose the enemy and roots of iniquity. I pray that every spiritual enemy that is binding up truth be taken out and every deception silenced. I pray that God’s will be done on earth and in America as it is in Heaven. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Advertisements

Dark Night of the Soul by Mario Murillo

Here I am going through this ‘despondent’ soul time and I run across this precious post. I needed it today. Please join me in relentless prayer for revival.
Check out this post on justicewriters:

Seasons of the Soul Ministries

jesus praying in the garden

A few weeks ago i was feeling discouraged and sought the Lord as to how i should respond to this despondency and immediately i heard, “I want you to live from the inside out.  The way that you have operated in the past will not be the way that you move or progress in the future.  Learn how to navigate by the instruments.”  I knew He was referring to the seven-fold Spirit of God.  This will be our internal compass in the days ahead as we take on the nature of Christ and let the Spirit of God take the lead.

Isaiah 11:1-4

Then a Shoot (the Messiah) will spring from the stock of Jesse [David’s father],
And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
 
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and strength,
The…

View original post 1,634 more words

#loveyourself

love 2It’s true. You do have to love yourself before you can love others well.

I can remember the time when I didn’t love myself. I didn’t realize it. I sure wouldn’t admit it. I wouldn’t believe you if you told me.

So how did I realize it?

Little by little. I really didn’t realize it until I started to LOVE myself..accept myself. To know I am accepted. To know I am worth loving.

Jesus eroded away every reason I had for disliking myself. (I use the word “dislike” because “hate” is too strong a word.)

How did I start?

I forgave myself.

Forgave what?

Lots of things. All the hidden skeletons. All the regrets. All the mistakes. All the things I should have known better and did anyway. Even some things that were not my fault but I took ownership anyway.

What did the “dislike” look like?

It was all the thoughts and self-comments that said….

“I can’t believe I did that!” (in disgust)

“I have ugly arms”

“I am ugly, I am fat; I am stupid”

“Nobody wants to be around me”

“I have no talent”

“I can’t do anything right”

“I deserve that” (if it was anything bad)

“If I do this perfect maybe someone will notice me”

“If I do this perfect I will be somebody”

“If I do this right I won’t be a failure”

“If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all!” (yeah, that’s a song…I’m singing)

It wasn’t just thoughts.

It came out in how I expected to be treated.

I expected:   to be ignored, to be rejected, to fail…

It also came out in how I treated others.

“I’m not good at relationships” “I don’t have many friends” “I’m ok alone” “I don’t need anyone”

The relationships would become strained. Sometimes I would self-destruct or sabotage. It was easier. (Did I realize I was doing this??? NO!)

I also blamed others for the difficulty of a strained relationship.

The worst is when it affects your kids. Not loving myself led to perfectionism. A perfectionist mother is difficult to live with. The relationship becomes performance based. Criticism and judgment become the norm all in the name of “helping”. That is really code for “fixing”. When you feel like you need to be fixed it’s easy to try to fix others.

It’s hard to forgive others when you won’t or can’t forgive yourself. Constant negative self-talk only increases the unforgiveness and perfectionist behavior.

Warning signs:

Negative self-talk

Grudges

Difficulty forgiving

Justifying grudges

Addictions

Perfectionism

Being critical of everyone else AND yourself

Judging everyone’s weaknesses by your strengths

How do you fix it?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and intercept every negative one
  3. Intentionally say positive things about yourself. Find ways to compliment yourself.
  4. Forgive yourself. Say it out loud! “I forgive myself for….”. Start off easy at first. Then you will find lots of ways you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for each of them.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you TRUTH about yourself.
  6. Find scriptures in the BIBLE (since that contains the truth about you…all the positive things) and write them down, say them out loud, put your name in them.

Example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am accepted/adopted”

  1. Be patient. It takes time. You didn’t become this negative about yourself overnight. It will take months even years to undo the negative habits. But it will happen.

Then one day…you won’t even have a negative thought about yourself all day.

And the best part….You don’t expect the worst out of yourself or people. You can trust easier. Relationships are easier. You don’t feel rejected all the time.

A negative thought is easily identified and the truth readily applied.

You can’t love others until you love yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You WILL love others to the same extent as you love yourself.

What does the OTHER side look like? (When you do #loveyourself?)

  1. Instead of perfectionism, you live in excellence. This is much more fun! You do your best. You improve on your worst. It is not performance driven. Not critical of yourself.
  2. Invest in yourself. Because you are worth it! You are valuable. For you, it may be exercise, reading books that challenge you and grow your abilities, or spend your resourced on yourself.
  3. Criticism becomes constructive instead of destructive. You can take criticism without falling apart or becoming defensive.

I’m sure there are lots more benefits haven’t named in my own life yet.

How are relationships affected?

  1. They heal!
  2. Communication is easier
  3. Your kids don’t have to perform to feel loved and accepted. They just know they are.

Can you imagine the environment when a kid reacts and acts from acceptance everyday than judgement and criticism or fear of rejection?????

  1. Since you accept yourself more readily, it’s easier to accept others even in their faults.
  2. More “grace” in relationship and a whole lot more “mercy”.

Try it. How many more benefits can you add?

 

 

God Reveals Himself in Mysterious Ways

I had arevisedn important revelation at a funeral.

Some people may think that is a great place for a significant revelation. Others may think that a little crazy.

 

My sister-in-law passed away this week. As I sat among the grieving family all I could think about was how beautiful her smile is. There was a photograph placed on an easel next to the coffin showing off her spiky hair and toothy smile. She was always the life of any party and had a smile that would light up a room. As I thought about all her wonderful traits … it was like a light went off in my head.

I felt the Holy Spirit saying…”Her love, her smile, her joy…was all a reflection of the Heavenly Father, all His good traits to show His glory in the earth. ”

When  someone… or you..share love, joy, peace, patience, humbleness, grace, goodness, mercy, etc to another you are showing off God. All good things come from Him. He shows up everywhere because He longs for you to know Him. He shares His goodness because He loves you. He chases you in every smile, every sincere hug, in every kind word. He reveals aspects of who He is so we can know Him more.

God is not distant. He is very near, in every good thing we see, hear, smell…

I thought of all the times I had the joy of spending time with her and I am thankful. I am thankful for the life she courageously lived in love and strength. I am thankful that I got a glimpse of my Heavenly Father in her.

It’s pretty cool to think that we represent Jesus to others. But what is greater is that we carry His traits not only as a reflection of who God is but also as a part of who we are. I hope I am sharing my heart well enough in words to capture the weightiness of this statement. We are made in His likeness and we carry His traits in us. We are not just a mirror to reflect Him but we are made like Him. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe so pleased to place all His goodness in us just so we could know Him better as we share our lives with others.

I got a glimpse of how loving, how joyful, how wonderful my God is through the attitude and smile of lovely woman named Darlene.

Remember, as you wake up to another day, that you are part of God’s master plan to share Him with those you meet today.  Smile, laugh, be patient, be kind, and show goodness, grace and mercy to others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to show YOU to others. Thank you for the fruits of your Spirit that are shed abundantly in our hearts as we serve you and come to know you more. I pray that we will seek out those fruits in others and that we would show these fruits to all people around us. Give us strength to do so. 

Forgive us for all those times that we choose not to show the fruits of YOUR Spirit and chose instead to represent the kingdom of the the enemy. Forgive us now as we choose to forgive others that have done that to us. 

Help us to remember daily that we represent you, Lord. I ask you to remind me even in hard times to show these fruits and represent you well. Help us to represent you in love and in joy. In Jesus Name, Amen.

When you’ve lost a loved one

file6101306948456What do you do when you’ve lost a close loved one?

The pain, grief and sorrow can be unbearable at times. The questions … Is God even listening? Has He forgotten me? Why did He allow this to happen?

The feelings of despair and loneliness lead to statements like… “I’m alone” “No one understands”

 

 

Some people feel responsible in some form for the loss “it’s my fault, if I would have been there or done….”

I bring you good news in the face of death there is life. Jesus will restore and renew as he brings healing to your heart. You can have joy again. You can have peace. You can stop feeling lonely.

To be honest I didn’t know if I was ready to talk about this subject. This particular post has sat in “drafts” for a long time.
All I can do is tell you how I made it through…with the help of the LORD I made it.

I was really unprepared when my brother called to say Dad was dead. In his home, he fell asleep and never awoke. On this side of Heaven anyway.

As the pastor of a church I had seen Dad preach with many ailments and nothing ever stopped him. Apparently, that Sunday morning he was not feeling well.

I can’t describe the emotions. I couldn’t seem to “feel” them all at once even though they seem to flood me until it was almost unbearable. I can’t even tell you what I was thinking at the time. It seemed like a dream. I was in total shock and disbelief.

I knew my brother very well. I knew he was not joking. However, he just had to be…HAD to be. Because my Dad was unstoppable and so young!

I could recount the details of the days that followed. I could tell you the prayers, the faith, the friends, support and an amazing funeral that my brother preached himself. Living through that was like auto-pilot. The true test was the 2 weeks after…the 2 months after and yes…even the 1 year after.

Allow me to walk you through what I believe was the Holy Spirit walking with me through this trying time.

1. My family has a weird idea of life and death.

2 Corinthian 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

I say “weird” because it is based on the Bible and NOT on the consensus of the worlds opinion of life and death. Dad and I had many discussions of how often and how much we longed to be in Heaven with the Lord. We talked of how this life is “but a vapor”. We talked about how great Heaven will be. I mean we LONGED to be with Jesus.

We joked about throwing a party when we die because we will be in Heaven and that is the best thing in the world. We should not mourn but rejoice.

2. God, himself, put a limit on how long we should mourn

That may seem cold to some people. However, there is a reason. There is a healthy mourning time and an unhealthy, almost other-worldly mourning that turns into idolatry and becomes sickness to our mind, body and spirit.

In the Old Testament read how long God would allow mourning. After 30 days it was over. Move on. Why would God put this limit on such a personal, deep, painful event? Because God knows the  BIG picture. He sees into the other side…into the eternal.

Satan, our enemy that seeks to devour and destroy, will use the time of mourning to turn our hearts away from the Lord. He will use it to cause resentment and bitterness. Gangrene will set it in our hearts if the open wound of death is left untreated too long. “let the dead bury the dead” resonates with me. The dead in spirit will spend a great deal of energy, finances and time mourning a loss until that’s all they have left is the mourning.

3. God reminded me of TRUTH

Mark 12:26And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

As I was reading the Bible shortly after Dad’s death I read this verse and the Holy Spirit spoke to me.- He is alive.

Eternity we will be together. Stop mourning and start rejoicing.

Life on this earth is so short. To spend the entire time worried and anxious over grief and despair is not worth this precious short time.

4. I decided Legacy was more important than grief

Dad left a legacy of “be about your Father’s business”. Dad was a worker in the Kingdom of God. He worked tirelessly to spread the Good News of Christ. I decided that my life should represent that truth. To give up was not an option. To drown in self pity was not an option. I determined the best way to honor my Dad was to honor my Heavenly Father and be about HIS business.

I still missed Dad. I missed his wise counsel, our long conversation about anything and everything. I missed his hugs most of all. As my children grew up I missed the opportunity to ask…”was I that bad?” and “what did you do?”

He was my pastor, my mentor, my friend, my Daddy, my confidant, my kick-in-the-butt when I needed it…he was my adviser…

God is so faithful to those who will trust in Him. He will turn your mourning into dancing. He will give you peace that surpasses understanding. He will hold you up when you can’t stand on your own. He will be your strength when all is gone. He will be your friend when you are lonely.

Trust Him. Turn to Him. Talk to Him. Read His Word. You will find answers to your questions. HE will be the father to the fatherless. The husband to the widow. The friend to the outcast.

I cannot describe to you how much closer I am now to my Heavenly Father. I may have leaned too much and too often on my Dad’s wisdom and his prayers rather than seeking God for myself. But when you don’t have anyone else to turn to and God is all you have …HE will not disappoint. My life is so rich and full of God’s love, grace and mercy. I depend on HIM. I love HIM. I seek HIM.

What caused this post?

Recently, a friend lost her husband. A mighty man of God. A man my Dad loved and admired went home to be with the Lord too. After watching my mother struggle for years from that loss I knew a little about what my friend would go through. I pray for her. Her pain is only one God can heal. And HE will.

Practical application:

Repentance and forgiveness…yes, even about this subject. This is the healing process.

If you feel responsible in any way–pray–I choose forgive myself for>_____< (insert what you feel responsible for…not being there, not doing something, etc)

If you ask “Why God? Did you take him/her away?”–pray–I choose to forgive you God for taking/allowing him/her to die. I know that you did not “take” this person from me. I know you love me. I know you are the GOOD Father and nothing evil can come from you. I know I may not understand it all but I trust you Lord. 

If you blame someone else –pray–I choose to forgive this person to taking the life of >>>>>(insert name)<<<<<. 

>>continue….I let it go. I allow you, Holy Spirit to take away the pain, the grief, the unforgiveness. I repent for holding onto to it so long. I give it to you Lord. Come and heal my heart and tell me your truth about this situation. 

I pray for those that struggle with the loss of a loved one. I pray you are girded with Truth. I pray strength from the Lord to be with you. I pray for peace as you walk and a the light of Christ to guide your way. I pray that your heart will be open to hear the Lord speak. I pray for God to send people to comfort you but most of all the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to comfort you every hour of each day. Amen.

 

Idol of Self

Spennyelf absorbed reads the Bible from a purely individualistic view forgetting the eternal, global view. It forgets the higher purpose.

I recently realized that I tend to read the Bible from a certain perspective. Even though I am a teacher at heart I read the Bible from the perspective ‘how can I teach this’ or ‘who needs this’.

 

That sounds very unselfish doesn’t it? Sounds like my motives are for the greater good.

But are my motives really unselfish?

 

Maybe it’s not an argument of selfish or unselfish but of glory of self versus glory of God. I love the Bible. No kidding. I get all giddy and joyful when I read it or listen to it on MP3. Yes, I am a nerd. I love to study it. I love to get fresh revelation. The Bible is living and active. So a verse read 10 years ago can have new meaning today. It’s so cool.

I have to watch my motives because they could be driven by the idol of self. It’s that part of  all of us that enjoys the accolades, the glory, the ‘wow, you know a lot’.

If I never heard another compliment or shared a revelation or scripture would I still study it with such conviction?

That goes for anything in our lives. Many people have a calling or a gift or talent that brings them much fame and admiration among believers. But would they still do it if they never got another “atta boy/atta girl”?

The apostle Paul was so thrilled when he was put under house arrest. When he asked everyone to pray for him he asked for boldness and that the Good News would be spread to the Romans.

What if fear of failure was the other side of the idol of self coin?

That is the other thing that keep people from being effective. The ones that don’t do anything because ‘what if I fail’, ‘what if someone says something bad to me’?

The focus is still on self and not God. Idol of Self. It keeps all those gifts, talents, teaching, preaching, love, testimony, etc. from being used because we might fail.

Ask God to show you your inner motives.

What motivates me to serve the kingdom of God?

If I never received any glory from it would I still do it?

Am I willing to try and face the possibility of it not going the way I want but still see God glorified in it?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, reveal my motives behind my actions for your Kingdom. If there is anything not pleasing to you I repent of those behaviors. Show me your truth and love for me. Show me your way. Thank you for loving me and using me. Amen. 

Living By Faith-Part 2

miracles still happenFaith does not ignore facts. Faith is a choice to believe that what God says is more true than any doctor report, financial statement, or emotion.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

Faith faces the facts head on but still knows that God is on the throne and able and willing to meet every need. Believing is the stage after asking that we verbally declare our faith.

Believing is a choice. The key is – who is the subject of your belief. You believe everyday. When you sit in a chair you had faith the chair would hold you. When you flipped the light switch you had faith the light would turn on. The subject of your belief- who or what- you believe in is the key. I choose to put my faith in the one that created the universe and everything in it. I don’t place my faith in the stars but the one who created the stars.

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

2. Believe-

Sometimes this is the hard part. The more you read the Bible and hang out with other believers and hear testimonies of the great things God has done, your faith will be strengthened. You will find it easier to “believe”. I found that reading books about the life of missionaries is very helpful. In Part 1 I shared such a book by Huldah Buntain.

It’s time we take God out of the box we place Him in – we believe he can ONLY do this or that…only the things we can imagine or have heard. Start believing for great things. God is bigger than our imaginations.

Mark 9:23 (GW)  Jesus said to him, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes.”

Mark 11:23-24 (GW)  I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him. 24  That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.

Faith is a choice just like love is a choice. You choose to believe. If you wait on emotions and feelings to catapult you into great faith you may never see miracles. But if you choose to believe and then begin to walk it out, you just released faith in your life.

Practical Application

1. Find scriptures in the Bible that speak to your situation. If you need healing find scriptures on that. If you need peace find scriptures on peace.

2. Place your name in that scripture and pray it over you (or a person or situation).

Psalms 103:2 Praise the Lord, my soul,and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

Now make it personal….

Praise the Lord, my soul, I will not forget his benefits. Lord you forgive all my sin and heal my diseases.

I pray Psalms 91 over myself or my fiends or family all the time.

This is a powerful scripture (actually, all of them are)

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling,10 no harm will overtake (me) you,no disaster will come near (my) your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning (me) you to guard (me) you in all (my) your ways; 12 they will lift (me) you up in their hands, so that (I) you will not strike (my) your foot against a stone. 13 (I) You will  tread on the lion and the cobra; (I) you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

(Psalms 41:3 is a good  scripture on healing also)

3. Pray scriptures over your situation as often as you think about it. When you worry or feel anxious, pray those scriptures. This is how you stand in faith…believing. This is how you combat fear, worry or anxiety. Keep renewing your mind in the Word of God by praying the scriptures.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the measure of faith. Guide me to scriptures that I need. Make your Word come alive to me and show me how to apply to my life. Give me wisdom how to apply your Word and live by it. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Living by Faith

Living by Faith

This is the beginning of a series on Faith. I find it hard sometimes to have faith. I know many of the bible verses on faith as a mustard seed. I know the ones about asking your Father in Heaven and He will give you good things. I even have a healthier view of Almighty God than I used to. He is my Heavenly Father who loves me, cherishes me, has a purpose and a plan for my life.

Somehow, all this knowledge doesn’t seem to help my faith. Sometimes my faith just seems to be hanging on by a thread. I think that He may do it for someone else but not for me. I think if I was better than maybe God would answer my prayers. I’m here to tell you those thoughts are not truth, they are lies from the enemy.

This first post will be a summary and talk about the first stage of faith.

Come back and read the rest of them. It has helped me and I hope it will help you in your walk of faith.

bookI read “Pathway to the Impossible” by Huldah Buntain (a missionary to Calcutta, India).

She told of miracle after miracle that she actually experienced.

This is a perfect example of expanding our perception of God and just how magnificent he is.

Read her story. Your faith will increase by hearing what God does. And know that what he will do for one he will do for another.

Have you ever thought about the stages of faith we go through?

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

Asking – 

  1.  Our first step in faith is to ask God in prayer. Your prayer does not have to be eloquent, long or wordy. Just talk to Him, he is your Heavenly Father. When you ask, ask expecting. Expectation is that “faith” part. Wrap every petition in expectation that He will hear. And He will answer. He will heal. He will save. He will help. Just ask.

Matthew 21:22 (AMP)  And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.

You can ask for more wisdom. Who doesn’t need that…

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

When you ask–think about your motives…

James 4:2 (AMP)  You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.

James 4:3 (AMP)   [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

Sometimes you need to be persistent. That shows a level of faith.

Matthew 7:7-8 (AMP)   Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
8  For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

And my favorite…

God is capable of more than we could ever think or imagine.( So expand your box that you put God in because he doesn’t fit there.)

Matthew 14:15When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” 17They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”( http://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/14.htm )

Did you see what Jesus said? “you give them something to eat”

What Jesus? We only have enough to feed us, definitely not enough to feed thousands of people.

Can you imagine yourself as a disciple at that moment? That is a faith stretcher. I would be saying “Are you crazy? I think you’ve been in the heat too long!”

He challenges their way of thinking. As humans they were limited to human expectations. But God is unlimited. Jesus is teaching them a valuable lesson here.

This is a lesson we all need to learn. It’s a major shift in our thinking and expectation. It’s a process called “Paradigm Shift”. As Christians we need to have a major Paradigm Shift. We need to learn to think like Jesus.

Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Can you agree with me that our thinking is limited and because of that we limit an awesome God with unlimited power?

If we begin to pray in faith believing in the awesome God, creator of the universe instead of praying in our limited power and understanding our faith increases right there!

Ask God to show you where you are limiting His power in your life. Just ask Him. He will be faithful to show you.

Heavenly Father, Thank you that your ways are not my ways. Thank you, that you are the creator of the universe, creator of my life and everything in the Earth and on the Earth. There is nothing created without you. Father, I ask that you will show me a glimpse of how big you really are. Show me where I limit you and where I place you in a box of human understanding. Help me and give me wisdom to understand better. Thank you, in Jesus name I pray! AMEN!

Lesson: Identity

20130909-220215.jpg

 

Where do you find your identity? Some people find it in their children, work or being a wife /husband, a Christian. Some are not sure at all how to identify themselves.

When someone asks who you are what do you say?

Most people will say “I am a mom, I am dad, I am a husband/wife, I am a Christian, I work at >>>”. But who are you really? Getting deeper into how they really see themselves: they will say “I am kind, I am hardworking, I am a control freak, I am shy, I am …”.

Where does your “worth” come from?

Many people measure their worth from what people say about them. They repeat what others have said since childhood. These statements become who they are, what they think about themselves. How they measure their worth is how much worth or value someone else attached to them.

Do you feel important? To whom? The worth and value that was assigned while growing up then makes a person feel important or not important. We all have that one person (a grandma or grandpa or aunt/uncle/brother/sister) that made us feel important and valuable. They were glad to see you and said good things about you. You then believed you had worth/value. Does that mean you only have value that someone else assigns to you? “one mans trash is another man’s treasure?” And the best you could hope for is someone to not think you’re trash?

If your life changed drastically and you lost a part of how you identify yourself, how would you handle it?

Many people in ministry identify themselves by their ministry. I am the praise/worship leader. I am a teacher. Some women identify as a mom. A woman may identify herself as a wife. What happens when that identity ends? You are not the teacher anymore. Your children move out. Your husband dies or leaves? That sends many people into depression and great anxiety. Post-partum depression- loss of freedom and how you identified yourself your entire life and fear of being a good mother.

Do you think you are beautiful? Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (Unilever) “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs” (2006) and “Real Truth About Beauty” (2005) global studies:
92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest.

75% of teenage girls felt ‘depressed, guilty and shameful’ after spending just three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine.

70% of girls ages 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion “due to feeling badly about one’s looks.”

61% of all women and 69 % of girls (15 to 17) feel that their mother has had a positive influence on their feelings about themselves and their beauty.

25%of women would consider undergoing plastic surgery.

While only 19% of teenage girls are “overweight,” 67% think they “need to lose weight” (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic
Do you think you are important? Can you actually say “I am important and I am valuable”? Does saying that bring to mind at least one person that thinks you are valuable? Would you still feel valuable if that person was not in your life?

What would you change about your appearance? Glamour survey of more than 300 women of all sizes found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

55 percent of women had abusive thoughts about their overall weight or size; 43 percent said they targeted specific areas (the most berated: belly and thighs).
Women are constantly bombarded with images and descriptions of what our identity is “supposed “ to be in modern culture. (Skinny, Barbie Dolls. Superwoman.)

What image do you buy into? (What image comes to mind?)

You can’t buy into the image and identity the world sets for you. You will be depressed, anxious, worried, & feel inferior. If you compare yourself to celebrities or magazines or the seemingly superwoman down the street, you will find that you are comparing yourself to an incomplete viewpoint. Nearly one in four women ages 50-64 were found to be on an antidepressant, with 13 percent of the overall population also on antidepressants. (Source: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=173763#sthash.ViQ8BDPf.dpuf) Personally, I think the number is way more than that. People who claim to be depressed but may not have prescriptions for medication.

God did not intend for you to compare yourself to others. He did not intend for you to compare yourself to any standard other than the Bible. The Word of God is the standard by which we should all measure ourselves. In fact, no other standard will do.

Who does God say you are?

What does God say of your abilities?

What does God say of your worth?

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

1 Corinthians 12:27

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Ephesians 4:22-24

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Romans 8:14-15

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Isaiah 43:1

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Colossians 3:12

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Psalm 139:14

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

We are created in God’s image. We have the ability to think, feel, choose, and love. Eph 5:1 says “Therefore be imitators of God”. James reminds us that we should speak to all people with honor and respect. “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God (James 3:8-9)

Do I treat others in such a way that it honors God? Do I treat myself in such a way that it honors God?

Do I see what God sees when I look in the mirror?

 

We rely on so many other sources for measuring our worth. If our man loves us. If he thinks we are beautiful. What if we only relied on God’s opinion of us and no one else?

Challenge:

This week, to practically apply this Word of God.

  1. By taking every thought captive that is does not line up with what God says about me. I do this by immediately examining the thought, compare it to scripture and if it does not line up with what God says then I speak either out loud or to myself what God’s word says and I choose to believe it.
  2. By meditating on what God say I am. The more you read it and absorb it into your spirit the more the Word of God will renew your mind. Memorize key scriptures that speak to you.
  3. Pray the Word. Put your name in the scripture and pray it over you. You can also pray this way over your children and husband.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I repent for believing all other opinions about me rather than your opinion. Only your opinion really matters. What you say about my worth, my skill, my talent, my purpose is more important than what anyone else has ever said about me or will ever say. I believe your Word and what it says about me. I will not believe lies of the enemy any longer. I will not rely on other people to give me my worth. I believe that I am more than a conqueror. I am your daughter, loved and accepted. You chose me even if no one else will. I freely give to you all my past hurts, feelings of worthlessness and feelings of inferiority. I forgive anyone in the past for hurtful things that have been said that caused me to believe bad things about myself. I repent for comparing myself to someone else and I will now look to your Word for truth. Send your Holy Spirit to help me and guide me to your truth. Use your Word to light my path to better understanding of your love and acceptance for me.

20130910-233916.jpg

Lesson: Why Don’t I Feel Loved?

 Featured Image -- 585

 

 

A. Sometimes people have trouble receiving love. They don’t feel love or loved. Many reasons can lead to this. 

1. Feeling unworthy or inferior can lead to feeling unloved or un-loveable.

If you don’t value yourself or even like yourself you may find it hard that someone else would love you. So you have difficulty receiving (feeling) love. You think you are not worth love from another person. You think the best you can hope for is leftovers.

2. Sometimes it’s because there was no example of agape love while growing up. So there is no point of reference.

People who are raised in an unloving, un-nurturing environment have no example of true love. If you have never seen it at work then it’s difficult to recognize it. You may have a wrong definition of what love is.

3. Some people don’t love themselves or accept themselves. They don’t realize their worth and significance. Mark 12:31

B. Past experiences and past relationships help to shape our ideas of love. What experiences in your life taught you what love is? Does that love match the kind of love described in 1 Cor 13?

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There may be experiences in your past that trigger certain emotions. When someone in your life today says or does something that triggers an experience from the past. You will often have the same emotions from the past arise within you again. Even if the person does not intend to hurt you it’s easy to take it that way because someone from your past did hurt you.

The way to overcome this is to identify where it started. Forgive that person (or yourself if necessary).

What are your reference points for love?

It’s shown by how you give and receive love.

Are they healthy?

C. Sometimes we don’t recognize love from someone because it is given in a way that we are not programmed to receive it.

“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman gives great examples of how people respond to the action of love in different ways.
Understanding the 5 love languages can help you identify when someone is showing you love. Many times we miss it because it’s shown in a way that we “receive” love or “give love”.

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Identify the one or more that make sense to you. Now identify one or more ways to show love to someone special in your life. Give love to them in the way they will receive it. Sometimes that is a sacrifice but it is worth it to make that person feel special and loved.

*Is love a feeling or a choice?

It is a choice. It is not that “butterfly feeling” portrayed in Disney movies. Romantic books and movies have romanticized love in such a way that no one can ever measure up to that kind of love. It is unrealistic and does not line up with God’s truth about what love is.

Ask God to show you what love is. Ask Him to show you any ways that you are not receiving love–either His love or love from your spouse, children, etc.

Ask God overflow your heart with His love. He will.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your perfect love. Help me to receive love. Open my heart to be open to love. I allow your Holy Spirit to show me places in my heart that do not allow love to penetrate. I give you all these feelings of rejection, of misunderstanding and of unworthiness. I give it all to you. Instead, work in my heart your acceptance, and forgiveness. Open my heart to how worthy I am to you. How important I am to you. Most of all, I want to feel your love, abounding in my heart and overflowing. So that I may show love to others. Not just the imperfect love of earth but of your heavenly love that you shed abundantly for us.
I forgive people in my life that have hurt me in the past. I ask forgiveness for not believing your love and not showing love because of past sins and unforgiveness. I ask that you begin to show me a more perfect way-your way and not my way.

%d bloggers like this: