Endurance in the face of trials and delays

downloadWe can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment…” Romans 5:3-5

Have you ever found yourself going through a trial that just seemed to go ON and ON and you found yourself asking God if it was EVER going to end? I’ve been asking the Lord that question lately, wondering if this is something that I’ll have to deal with the rest of my life. In that place, I found myself squirming and resisting what the Lord was allowing. A dear friend reminded me of the peace that comes when we allow patience to weave its’ way around the trial that God, for some reason, is asking us to endure. Somehow the trial seems less painful when we stop squirming and surrender to God’s plan for our lives. Continue reading

Judgmental Christians:

Man with BibleWhat does the Bible say about it?

First, I want to offer an acknowledgement that that we Christians have at times judged others in a way that Jesus never intended us to. Secondly, I want to make an appeal to our culture to dig a little deeper to find out exactly what the Bible has to say about judging.

I want to apologize on behalf of the Christian community for every time that we have judged others in a critical, condemning, self-righteous, prideful, or disrespectful
way. Jesus himself made it clear that it is possible to judge others in a wrong way, and Continue reading

When Protecting Others Turns Into Friendly Fire

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Protecting others is a good thing, right? How could protecting others ever be a bad thing?

Protecting others can go sideways when we forget who The Protector is. There is only One who is able to protect 24/7. God is The Protector, not us. We are only a conduit of His protection. We’re able to protect in a healthy way only when we yoke up with The Protector. When God does the heavy lifting.  Continue reading

How to have a strong, healthy mind

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We’ve probably all seen the TV show Fixer-upper, where Chip and Joanna Gaines find a house that needs renovating. If the bones are good, they turn a rundown house in a good neighborhood into a thing of beauty.

Our minds can be like that rundown house. Being part of the body of Christ, we definitely live in a good neighborhood. However, our minds can sometimes be very much in need of change. God is inviting us into the renovation process. Empowered by His Holy Spirit, we become a part of completing the process that He has begun. With His word as our plum-line, we are invited to become co-laborers with God. As we cooperate with Him in the process, our lives become transfigured; the reality of who we’ve become in the spiritual realm becomes evident in the physical. So how does that happen? Continue reading

Chronic fatigue: Is the cure spiritual or physical?

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Simple tips that will help you discern between spiritual and physical tiredness.

Let’s face it…our bodies get tired sometimes. Especially if we’ve been pushing ourselves to accomplish some big goal. But have you ever experienced on-going fatigue that you just couldn’t seem to shake? Have you been wondering if what you were experiencing had more to do with your spiritual self than your physical body? If so, you’re not alone.  Continue reading

How to be healed of a hardened heart

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“I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh…” Ezekiel 11:19

Does it look to you like your heart has grown callous, insensitive? Unable to feel? If you have, you’re in good company. On more than one occasion, Jesus asked his loyal disciples, “Do you have such hard hearts?” I don’t know about you, but the disciples aren’t the first people I would have imagined when I picture someone with a hardened heart. These men were devoted. They had left everything to follow Jesus, and yet they struggled with some of the same things we might today…a heart that can sometimes be dull and unresponsive. Spiritually blind and deaf. Lacking spiritual perception and understanding. But what causes our hearts to become hardened? Continue reading

Letting Go of Mother Wounds

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Unresolved wounding from parents impacts adults on a daily basis. Often the deepest hurts came from the very one that should have protected you the most…Mom.

While it would be helpful if we as parents would take the step to undo the damage that we caused, that doesn’t always happen, does it? Sometimes as parents we just don’t know how to go about it. Or maybe we are unaware that we have hurt our sons and daughters. Sometimes children interpret events that happened to them very differently than a parent does. Perhaps you’ve never told your parents how their actions made you feel. Some of you may have parents that know that they have hurt you but simply refuse to fix it. Maybe your mother has passed on now and the door to healing seems closed off to you.  Continue reading

Finding Comfort In the Midst of Grief

man-walking-on-the-beach-in-slow-motion-silhouette-of-a-boy-moving-along-the-coastline-a-guy-walk-in-the-evening-at-sunset-silhouette-20s-european-male-outdoor-person-move-in-hd_sti65xnnIt is possible to experience God’s healing power in the midst of sorrow.

For those who have longed to feel His comfort but have been disappointed when it seemed absent, I can relate. I’ve been there; and I stayed there unnecessarily for far too long. My disappointment over the lack of comfort I felt from God was on a subconscious level, so it was easy to just keep shoving it down, stuffing it away where I didn’t have to look at it. I think I had expectations of what it should look like for God to comfort me; maybe Him speaking to me in an internal audible voice or through angelic visit. I had to lay those expectations down. While God does sometimes comforts in these ways, this wasn’t my experience at that time.  When God didn’t comfort in the way I thought He should, I assumed He didn’t care enough to help me.  I hope the hard lessons I’ve learned over the years will help others who may be grieving and in need of God’s comfort. Continue reading

Healing From The Heartache of Rejection

so-sad-2551808_960_720There is a way out of the pain.

Feeling accepted goes beyond just something we all would like to experience; it’s a basic human need. Rejection shrinks us, tempting us to pull back from others. It can cause us to seek isolation to prevent further rejection. It tempts us to become invisible so others won’t see our perceived failures and weaknesses. It has the potential to keep us from our destinies. Rejection can be like a contagious virus, infecting everyone it comes into contact with. It ricochets back and forth between people like a cruel game of catch. Rejection is one of those emotions that not only could be described as extremely painful, but a place of agony. Continue reading

What does it mean to be given a spirit of power?

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“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever read a scripture a hundred times, then suddenly you come to understand it on a whole new level? Today was one of those times for me. I wasn’t even looking for it, and there it was.

First of all, let’s lay some groundwork. We as human beings are made up of body, soul and spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Our spirit has been given power. The Greek word for this power is dunamis. It means ” (miraculous) power, might, strength.”    It is a miraculous power, given by God, to His children.  This power enables His church to perform marvelous works and is, in itself, a miracle. Strong’s concordance suggests that this power energizes us with physical power. It gives us the ability to achieve all that He calls us to do with strength. It implies possessing force that gives us the ability to produce a desired result. This power enables us as believers to be powerful and effective in this world, having an ability to be productive and successful in what God has gifted us to do.

Ephesians 1:18-20 says,

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”

The same Greek word for power (dunamis) is used to describe both the power that raised Christ from the dead and the miraculous power that has now entered our spirits!

What are the implications of this scripture? When the world, or our flesh or the evil one tries to convince us that we just don’t have it in us to accomplish what God asks us to do, we have a sword of truth we can pull out…

“For God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power…”

Dunamis is a miraculous power that energizes; it gives us the strength to produce the desired result we are called to. This miraculous power raised Christ from the dead! It was unstoppable! Even death could not overcome it.

Here’s the deal; I want to offer one disclaimer. Accomplishing our calling does not mean that we will never suffer. It doesn’t mean we’ve become immortal.  Hebrews 11 is full of examples of God’s people who, while victoriously accomplishing the call on their lives, still at times suffered. We are no different. Victory in God’s eyes isn’t necessarily success in the world’s eyes. This power from God has been entrusted to God’s people to accomplish God’s purposes on this earth. When we walk in it, we will bear fruit for His kingdom, enabling us to one day hear those precious words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

In His name we overcome,

Arlene