Trust

Like the writer in the post from Ellel Ministries (posted below),  I have had a life long issue with trust.

images (2)

When your trust is eked away by various vicious acts by those nearest and dearest you are left outcast and very much alone.  Like the writer below I always had a plan B.  Well not so much a plan, but I bounced back.  It may have been better if I had not.  It may have alerted someone somewhere that I had a major problem and they may have instigated or put in place some sort of plan to help me through the right way.

Nevertheless, that was not what happened and my plan B was to dust myself off and keep going only to hit the next person who would betray, lie or put me in danger.  If only those in charge could have sat down and counselled….and those who had a duty of care had been held accountable.

images (1)

 

The thing about trust is it is fragile, especially when it has anything to do with another human being.  A child should be able to trust a parent, but when that parent uses spite, prefers a sibling to oneself, sexually abuses, or uses psychological menace such as meting out vicious retorts when you appear to be “happy”, that trust is wiped away, so you look elsewhere.  Or you don’t look at all.

People have acknowledged the stuff of yesteryearbeen aghast at what has gone before and been amazed that I survivedbut several of those people are members of my own family who went on to betray me.  Pile it on why not.

I have finally learnt, as I approach the grand age of 60, that there is only one being that is wholly trustworthy and that is the Lord my God.

I know now that it is most unlikely that I will ever trust another human being again.  Not fully.  People let you down, they lie, they betray you, they practise deception in the belief that what you do not know will not harm you.  The worst harm is when you have been deceived then you find out you have been deceived.  Those lies hurt the deepest.

images

There will be judgement and they will be held accountable.  I will be justified.  My time on earth is temporary eternity beckons.

My God is my strength in whom I will trust.   Always.

images (3)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

 





10 August, 2014

Today’s Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International 
An Issue of Trust

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalm 18: 2, NASB

For a little while now I`ve been thinking about the whole area of trust. Very early on my life my trust was broken, when I was given away for adoption. Actually that breaking probably happened before I was born, when my father walked away leaving my mum pregnant. Growing up I had little or no trust in life itself. I seemed to always have a plan B in every situation, so that, when I was let down, I had my own way of meeting my need.

As you might imagine it`s taken many painful years of ministry and discipleship to move from a place of total distrust to a place of being trusting. I have to confess I thought I was doing well until the other day when an area of distrust became apparent. This wasn`t a distrust involving people, but a distrust in God. It didn`t take me long to realise that I was really quite fearful of trusting God fully. Oh! I could say it with my mouth, but deep in my spirit I had a constant plan B in operation. Because it was deep in my spirit I knew that this was rooted in the broken trust of so long ago. So I began to seek the Lord and to look into His word for a way forward.

As I looked up scripture verses that talk about trust, the word `refuge` kept appearing. For example, if you look up today`s verse in the NKJV you will read `My God, my strength, in whom I will trust`. There are also several other passage where `refuge` is used instead of the word `trust`. I had never seen this before, and this new revelation changed trust from being something risky into something very safe. The word `refuge` is one which brings with it images of strength, safety, and somewhere to run when the storms of life are raging. A refuge is something we seek in times of trouble; a place of hiding when we`re afraid. It`s a place where our needs are met, and a place to rest when we`re weary. But perhaps, above all, it`s a place of protection. This is a vastly different picture of trust than the one I had before.

I wonder what trust means to you? Is it something easy, or hard? Perhaps you see trust like I did, as something risky, unsafe and scary. I`m sure many of us have had our trust broken in some way or another. And out of that broken trust we`ve learnt ways of having a plan B, putting our trust only in ourselves. Maybe, like me, you`ve become safe in the unsafe place, hiding behind the shield of distrust. But maybe, just maybe, you`re willing to come out from behind that shield. The truth is that, in God, trust is a place of safety, security, protection and strength. So today let`s stop trusting in ourselves and choose to trust in God in all things!

Prayer: Father thank You that You`re my refuge and my very present help in times of trouble. I`m sorry that I`ve put my trust in myself and not In You, and that I`ve found my own ways of meeting my needs and protecting myself. Please forgive me for this. I choose today to take refuge in You, and trust You in all things. I know You`re a place of safety and protection, and You`re trustworthy. Help me, Lord, to see trust as a place of safety. In Jesus` name, Amen.
Today’s Writer : Mary-Lou Gregoire Mary-Lou Gregoire Has worked full time for Ellel Ministries at Glyndley Manor since 2011. Currently she enjoys the role of being the Ministry Manager as well as being part of the Teaching Team. Having walked a significant journey of healing from death into life her passion is to see Jesus “heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds”. In her spare time Mary-Lou enjoys Photography, growing vegetables, reading, being creative and walking with Henry her dog.

Bringing the Day of God

One of today’s daily readings impacted me with a verbal shout of Yes and Amen.  As usual, Rick Joyner says it as it is.

 

Bringing the Day of God

As we have been studying, it is the calling of every Christian to dwell in the heavenly places with Christ and to bring the blessings of heaven to earth. However, our ultimate goal is more than just bringing the blessings of heaven to earth, but rather to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. Because a kingdom would not be a kingdom without a king, this means the kingdom will never fully come to earth until the King does. So our true purpose is to bring the King to earth.

In II Peter 3:12 we have a remarkable statement when Peter says that we should be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God….” Since I first read it thirty years ago, this Scripture has caused me to marvel, possibly more than any other. Can we really hasten the coming of the Lord? The answer is “Yes!”

How can we possibly hasten the coming of the day of God? When the church makes herself ready, becoming the glorious bride that she is called to be, the Lord is not going to be able to resist her! The Father will just have to let His Son go to her! Then the King and His queen, who will love with perfect love, will rule over the earth until it has been fully restored from the corruption of the Fall. Then it will be delivered back to the Father see I Corinthians 15:22-28.

As we see in the Song of Solomon, the charms of the bride are likened mostly to fruit and the things that make up a bountiful harvest. That is how we make ourselves ready, growing in the fruit of the Spirit, and bringing in the harvest. The truth is, if we grow in the fruit of the Spirit, it will result in a harvest.

Possibly the main reason why the church has repelled so many people is because of our historic tendency to emphasize doctrine instead of life. Certainly we must love the truth, and want to have sound biblical doctrine, but having the doctrine without the life only makes us hypocrites. The truth is the world has plenty of evidence that very few Christians really believe what they preach because if they really believed it they would live differently.

However, of even greater concern than how the church so often repels people, should be how it repels the Lord! If we were more concerned about why the Lord does not come to our meetings, they would be changed into something that would attract both the Lord and people. When Jesus is lifted up, not just doctrines, and not just buildings, programs, or our own personalities, all people will be drawn to Him.

The key words here are “drawn to Him,” not us. If people are being drawn to us, that is only evidence of how far we have fallen from our calling. If the Lord is in the house, there is not a single human being that will be getting our attention! As witnessed on the day Solomon dedicated the temple, when the glory of the Lord fills the house all flesh will flee.

It certainly is not wrong to want to reach people, but when we desire that more than wanting to attract the Lord, people become an idol. Our primary calling is to be so attractive to the Lord that He just cannot stand it any longer—He just has to come for His bride! If we become the church that so attracts the Lord, we will also become something so glorious that people will not only cease to be repelled, but they will marvel and look to the One who has so changed us.

via New Daily Devotional: Day 122 – Bringing the Day of God – amandalannon@gmail.com – Gmail.

Regrets:- Words can confuse.

Regret

Keith and I often have deep and meaty conversations as we walk our dog.  Today’s conversation was more on reminiscing on our parenting as we passed a young mum with her toddler son.  She said to her son “look, the dog likes to go in the water, look he is lying down in the water and is sleeping”.  I was quite shocked and said, having passed to a safe distance out of her hearing, that the statement she made was quite wrong and misleading.  The message she was giving her son that it was okay to sleep in the water!

 

original-400x300

In the love and enthusiasm to reach out and communicate with our children, we can slip into silly talk, or just prattle on without really noticing what we are sharing with them.  I am sure I am guilty of having done just that, but can only remember one incident which to this day I feel sick about.

My son, the third of my children, was a very clingy child, he had mild learning disabilities which may or may not have affected his “sense of security”.  However, when he attended playschool, he was always traumatised on our separation and I would quite happily have taken him back home with me, but was advised by those who know, that it was best to break the mold and let them peel him from me, because he would be fine once inside.  It certainly appeared to be the case.  But each day we had to go through the fight of separation.

Looking back I think the over compensation was more for me than him.  I got into the habit of assuring him that he was precious and he was my “favourite son”.  He is my only son.  From time to time I had said to my eldest daughter she was my favourite eldest and to the middle my favourite middle child, so it seemed natural to say that to my son.  Why did I say those things?  A desperate need within myself to display and assure my children of my deep devotion to them, to instill security and a sense of worth in them.  How ignorant.  It was based on my own insecurities and lack of self worth through a life of no love and security.

The harm some of us can do when not in the right place in ourselves.  Yes it is done with right motive, and yes, it is something many parents do, look back and see mistakes, wishing we could do it again but differently.  We become wise after events.  But oh, how I wish I could remedy that mistake.

One day my daughters told me that my son believed himself to be the favourite of the children.  I denied that could be so.  But sure enough, at the table that evening during suppertime, his sisters brought it up, and he confirmed by saying “yes, I am your favourite aren’t I”.  Oh dear.  I had then to explain and unravel the entire thing to remove that lie that I had inadvertently made him believe.

My precious little boy was shocked, he burst into tears, it was as though his world had collapsed and it was all my fault.    I gently told him that I could not have a favourite child, that they were all precious and best beloved to me.  It injured him deeply, he was inconsolable and I was devastated at what I had done to him.  That sort of thing goes deep and cannot be removed.  I know it is part of his parcel of hatred of me today…

download

So easy to destroy relationship despite the intent to build and secure it.

Message to self.  As you chew on food, tasting it before swallowing, chew on thoughts before speaking them.  Unlike food, words cannot be spat out if distasteful or harmful, they are heard and absorbed.

Euthanasia/Assisted dying.

With the pressure to push through an agreement for euthanasia in the UK I went researching the term “dying with dignity”.  When I was a nurse we were trained to nurse people through the trauma of dying, no matter what the cause.

Dying with dignity meant giving your all to that patient, ensuring they were cared for in every way possible, kept clean, comfortable, hydrated (and fed if necessary) and even if unconscious, treated with the utmost respect, just as you would treat any other patient who was not dying.  You embraced their family into the care plan and encouraged them to spend time together.  You gave lots of TLC  (tender loving care).   Your patient would have a dignified death and that meant a peaceful one.

I was going to write a blog on the subject but became so overwhelmed with the emotion of it all and scrapped the article, just as I did, a friend on facebook posted the following.  Please do read it.

Please remember that if euthanasia becomes a legal act that thousands of vulnerable people will be at risk.  Just because some think it is right, does not make it right.  Those who are opposed do understand, do care, do have compassion, probably more than those who are wanting the law to be passed.

Best articles on assisted dying

Former-lord-chancellor-Lo-001Here are the best articles I have come across making the case against the Assisted Dying Bill. There are some very powerful arguments here; if the Bill is passed, all these will have been set aside.

A moving reflection from the Digital Nun:

My argument would be that Lord Falconer’s bill is deeply flawed. When one is ill oneself, one is very conscious of the burden one places on others. Any decent person would want to ease that burden, but opting for assisted dying is, I think, very questionable. One can be mentally capable of making decisions yet emotionally too vulnerable to make a rational decision. Again, it is striking that Lord Carey talks about the pain of watching someone one loves suffering — the onlooker’s pain, not the pain of the one actually sick or dying. In the West we don’t like seeing pain. We try to shut it out, eliminate it; but that is not what compassion is. Compassion is sharing the pain, accompanying the other through the valley of darkness and the shadow of death. That takes guts and faith in equal measure. We can protest that we don’t have such faith; that such courage is beyond us; but we won’t know until we try.

Two accounts from people who have, or might well be, directly affected by this questions themselves. The first is a posthumous article by Christopher Jones, who died from cancer in 2012, and wrote the piece six months before his death.

My reflection on this experience centres on the fact that at three periods – the diagnosis of secondary cancer, the traumatic experience of chemotherapy, and the prognosis of incurability – I was subject to extreme stress and a sense of hopelessness, and I might have been open to the option of ending my life by legal means, had these existed. The legal prohibition of this course was immensely helpful in removing it as a live option, thus constraining me to respond to my situation more creatively and hopefully. In hindsight, I now know that had I taken this course, I would have been denied the unexpected and joyful experience of being ‘recalled to life’ as I now am….

In summary, my experience has reinforced my conviction that the law prohibiting assisted suicide is an essential bulwark against well-meaning but unwarranted judgments about the value of life and the desirability of ending it in order to minimise or eliminate suffering. In my view, suffering is inescapable in this situation, and ought not to be allowed to trump all other considerations, especially when palliative care is taken into account. I do not claim that my experience trumps all other experience of end-of-life decisions, but it introduces significant considerations which are not usually acknowledged by supporters of a change in the law.

The second is by Hannah, who has Inflammatory Bowel Disease and associated spondyloarthritis.

I live in chronic pain, with little hope of long-term relief. I sometimes can’t get off the toilet. I have trouble walking. I sleep for ten hours a night and still feel like I am wading through treacle. I know what it is like to suffer. Yet I am against assisted dying, in spite of the fact that there are days when I think: why go on? If this is it for the rest of your life, why continue?

I am a young and independent person, yet I have sometimes fretted about the burden of worry and distress I place on my loves ones, and thought in my darker moments that it may be better for all concerned if I were to die and allow people to mourn and get on with their lives. If this has crossed my mind, how much more so those who have severe disabilities which place a great burden of care on their loved ones?

“But why should people in intolerable pain suffer for the sake of what might or might not happen further down the road?” Let me flip this argument on its head: why should the many disabled and vulnerable people who currently live in this country be put at risk of harm and distress for the sake of a few, understandable though their wish to die may be?

Giles Fraser weighed in with his usual energy:

When the moral history of the 21st century comes to be written, I predict we will look back with horror at how the word choice became a sort of cuckoo in the nest, driving out all other values. This week, in an editorial, the BMJ decided that patient choice now trumps the Hippocratic oath. The moral language of the supermarket has become the only moral currency that is accepted. Which is why, for me, assisted dying is the final triumph of market capitalism: we have become consumers in everything, even when it comes to life and death. And as history demonstrates, the losers in this equation are always going to be the most vulnerable.

Professor Theo Boer was an active campaigner for euthanasia in Holland, but he is now horrified at what has happened.

‘Don’t do it Britain,’ said Theo Boer, a veteran European watchdog in assisted suicide cases. ‘Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely ever to go back in again.’ Professor Boer admitted he was ‘wrong – terribly wrong, in fact’ to have believed regulated euthanasia would work. ‘I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law. But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a very different view.’

‘Whereas in the first years after 2002 hardly any patients with psychiatric illnesses or dementia appear in reports, these numbers are now sharply on the rise. Cases have been reported in which a large part of the suffering of those given euthanasia or assisted suicide consisted in being aged, lonely or bereaved. Some of these patients could have lived for years or decades. Pressure on doctors to conform to patients’ – or in some cases relatives’ – wishes can be intense. Pressure from relatives, in combination with a patient’s concern for their wellbeing, is in some cases an important factor behind a euthanasia request. Not even the review committees, despite hard and conscientious work, have been able to halt these developments.’

The latest euthanasia figures for the Netherlands show that nearly one in seven deaths are at the hands of doctors.

Peter Saunders has written incisively in response to George Carey’s contribution to the debate:

But there is no discernible Christian world view underpinning what he says. Nothing of the fact that God made us and owns us; nothing of biblical morality or the sixth commandment; no doctrine of the Fall; little insight into the depths of human depravity and the need for strong laws to deter exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people; nothing of the cross or the resurrection; no hope beyond death; nothing of courage and perseverance in the face of suffering; no recognition of the need to make one’s peace with God and others before death; no real drive to make things better for dying patients and no real empathy with the feelings of vulnerable disabled and elderly people who fear a law like Falconer’s and will be campaigning in force outside parliament next Friday.

Carey has instead produced a piece that is high on emotion but weak on argument that capitulates to the spirit of the age; that enthrones personal autonomy above public safety; that sees no meaning or purpose in suffering; that appears profoundly naïve about the abuse of elderly and disabled people; that looks forward to no future beyond the grave and that could have been written by  a member of the national secular society, British humanist association or voluntary euthanasia society.

A Catholic blogger makes interesting observations about whether the Bill has any democratic mandate:

The second point to note is that the basic substance of the Bill has already been rejected by Parliament on several occasions before. Lord Falconer appears to have picked up the mantle of Lord Joffe – another unelected member of the House of Lords – who on four previous occasions put forward a Bill for “Assisted Suicide” (NB see how Lord Falconer is now using the word “dying” rather than “suicide”, more on this very serious wordplay in a subsequent post). Now, if a man were repeatedly to ask a girl out, despite her adamant rebuttals of his intentions, we might start to speak in terms of harassment. Similarly, one might ask how many times is it appropriate to ignore the repeated will of Parliament and seek to persuade it otherwise through the repeated introduction of private member’s bills, where nothing has substantially changed since the last time either House was asked to examine the Bill?

Justin Welby commented on George Carey’s argument and set out his own concerns:

[On Carey] Were it to be presented by a candidate in a GSCE religious education exam, I should expect an examiner to take a dim view of it. [More widely] Abuse, coercion and intimidation can be slow instruments in the hands of the unscrupulous, creating pressure on vulnerable people who are encouraged to “do the decent thing”. Even where such pressure is not overt, the very presence of a law that permits assisted suicide on the terms proposed by Lord Falconer of Thoroton is bound to lead to sensitive individuals feeling that they ought to stop “being a burden to others”. What sort of society would we be creating if we were to allow this sword of Damocles to hang over the head of every vulnerable, terminally ill person in the country?”

Welby has also joined with other religious leaders in a shared statement:

As leaders of faith communities, we wish to state our joint response to Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill. We do so out of deep human concern that if enacted, this bill would have a serious detrimental effect on the wellbeing of individuals and on the nature and shape of our society.

Every human life is of intrinsic value and ought to be affirmed and cherished. This is central to our laws and our social relationships; to undermine this in any way would be a grave error. The Assisted Dying Bill would allow individuals to participate actively in ending others’ lives, in effect colluding in the judgment that they are of no further value. This is not the way forward for a compassionate and caring society.

Vengeance.

425673_359617060736048_1651313045_n

 

 

 

Isn’t it just  so easy to want to strike out at those who hurt you?  The much harder thing to do is to stand back.  I tend to be reactionary and then bite my tongueso often hurt people hurt people.  It is hard as a hurt person to allow another to keep on hurting you, so you either resign yourself to it or respond, normally in a wrong way.  The right way, the way Jesus would do it, is to simply forgiveand yes, He was hurt!

Revenge would be bitter sweet.  You might feel justified in striking out to hurt back, but afterwards ….?  I think perhaps a life long regret.  Why add to our burdens.

Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.   Romans 12:19.  Deutoronomy 32:35. We are forgiven our sins but we will be judged.

 

Strife

Please do read Rick Renners post below.  I am certain that it applies to each and every one of usand many will have undoubtedly suffered at the hands of those who have gone that step too far and caused division.  Their pride, anger, arrogance and unforgiveness will not allow for accountablility or confession.  I witnessed this behaviour by a group in my first church and exactly as Rick describes it here, one could recognise the demonic activity in their expression of hate and dissatisfaction and iron will to destroy what was good and right in that church.  Let us learn and ensure we do not do the same and if we have, let us be wholeheartedly humble in our confession and willingness to seek restoration for what has been done.

 

Source of Strife?
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. — James 3:14
Many years ago, I worked as an associate pastor in a large Southern Baptist church. The pastor I served was a wonderful man of God who taught me and gave his life to me unselfishly. I nearly adored this man — until one day, I became offended by something he did.What this pastor did was very minor, and it shouldn’t have affected me at all. Nevertheless, at that moment I was weak and became an open door for the devil. It is amazing how quickly a dart of the enemy, thrown into our hearts, can change our perspective! In a matter of seconds, my whole view of this precious man changed for the worse. Although he was older and more spiritual than I was, I suddenly thought I could see the full picture of the church ministry more clearly than he could.

Soon I found myself in the position of a judge, thinking that I was more spiritual than he and therefore more qualified to discern the voice of God. Although my actions were ungodly and destructive, I really thought my motives were pure as the snow. My heart toward this dear pastor became hardened, and it wasn’t long until the devil was trying to use me as a source of strife in that congregation. The biggest obstacle in this situation was that I genuinely believed I was right! But in reality, I was acting in rebellion to authority, blinded to the ugliness that was raging in my soul.

The devil has always tried to use people to bring division into the church. There is nothing new about this problem. In fact, James addresses the issues of wrong attitudes and a spirit of strife in James 3:14. From the earliest inception of the New Testament church, church leaders have always had to correct people who acted just like I was acting toward my pastor. But thank God for His grace! Today that pastor is one of my dearest friends and one of my greatest mentors.

In respect to people being used by the devil to bring division, James 3:14 says“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” The phrase “bitter envying” is very important. It is the Greek word zelos, which refers to a fierce desire to promote your own idea to the exclusion of others’ ideas. The word “strife” is the Greek word eritheia, which means rivalry or ambition. It can also be translated as a party spirit or a divisive spirit.

This first part of James 3:14 could be translated:

“If you have a fierce desire to promote your own ideas to the exclusion of others’ ideas….”
“If you have a spirit of competition and rivalry….”
“If you’re full of selfish ambition….”
“If your actions are creating a party spirit in the church….”
In verse 15, James goes on to say, “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthlysensualdevilish.” The word “earthly” in Greek is the wordepigeios. It describes something from an earthly dimension, not from a heavenly dimension. The Greek word for “sensual” is psuchikos, which meanssoulish. Then James says, “This wisdom is…devilish.” The word “devilish” comes from the Greek word daimoniodes, which is best translateddemonized, depicting a person whose mind or emotions have come under the influence of demon spirits.

James is telling his readers:
“When a person behaves like this, it is obvious that his soul has come under the influence of demonic activity.”

Consider what James 3:15 means in light of the fact that I had become the source of strife in that pastor’s church. According to this scripture, I had fallen into a trap of the devil and didn’t even know it! What I did to that pastor was blatantly wrong, but at the particular moment it was happening, I really believed I was doing what was right. I had fallen into the same trap so many people have fallen into throughout two thousand years of Church history.

Let me assure you that anytime something small becomes a major issue, you need to back up and reexamine what you are thinking and feeling. The devil may be trying to work in your mind and imagination to divide you from people you both love and need. Do you want to let the devil build a wall between you and the people in your life over something that won’t even matter a year from now? Is that issue really so serious that you would break a long-term relationship over it? Is it pos-sible that the devil is over-magnifying this problem in your mind and that you are getting a little out of focus over this issue?

As a result of this regretful experience that occurred so long ago, I learned to keep my heart free from all strife and offense. That is a lesson we all need to learn. If our hearts stay free of strife and offense, the door stays closed to the devil so he cannot disrupt our relationships. You need to know that when you allow a spirit of strife to operate inside you, inside your home, inside your business, or inside your church, it won’t be too long until people who used to love each other are standing in opposition to each other. That is the way the spirit of strife operates, and that is the fruit it produces.

If you have taken offense or feel even the smallest temptation to get in strife with someone in your life, I strongly advise you to get into the Presence of God and allow Him to help you see things from a clearer perspective. Let the Holy Spirit remove the blur of the disagreement and remind you of how much you love that other person. Take a few minutes to be with God and to let Him search your heart and show you the truth. As you do, you will stop the devil from using you as a source of strife today!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I never want to be a source of strife! Please help me keep my heart free of strife and my mind clear of accusations so I can have relationships that are pleasing to You. I want to be a blessing to people — never a vehicle the devil uses to bring confusion or hurt to anyone. I am so thankful Your love has touched me and now flows through me to others. I truly desire for Your love to flow freely through me and to bring peace where strife and chaos once reigned supreme.

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that the devil doesn’t have the right to work in my mind and imagination. I refuse to permit him to divide me from the people I know, love, and need. My heart is free of strife and offense, and the door is closed to the devil so he cannot disrupt my relationships. When the devil does try to distract me with the temptation of strife, the Holy Spirit removes the blur of the disagreement and reminds me of how much I love and need that other person.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER

1. Has there ever been a time in your life when you got so upset about something that it blurred your ability to think clearly about that situation? Did you slow down and get into the Presence of God before taking further action, or did you act in that moment of emotion and let the devil use you to make the situation worse?

2. What have you learned about the value of keeping your mouth shut, letting your emotions subside, and waiting before you vocalize what is making your stomach churn with fretting and anxiety?

3. What practical steps can you take to prevent the devil from over-magnifying issues in your mind and imagination? Why don’t you really think about this question and then take some time to write down your preventative ideas?

Today is the day the Lord Made

 

1932339_296321547187899_303783597_n

 

Leading up to today..over the past few weeks, I have been in a strange place, very emotional, a sense of unreality, coping with indignity, blessed by the love and attention of new friends, reeling with hurt and throbbing with pain, whilst being thankful for God’s provision.  Yes, I would say that it has been a roller coaster few weeks.

 

10313536_320920254728028_4536309711970557071_n

 

In order to overcome the negatives I have searched the internet for pointers that will sustain me biblically …yes, I know the bible has it all, but not being very well “versed” I lean to alternatives which give me shortcuts to those places.

 

10363711_327080390778681_2733937226166919187_n

 

Today I have joined Ellel365 an online training resource in the very real hope that I will be personally transformed.  I have recently completed a Discipleship course Freedom in Christ and have a long list of stronghold busting to do…but….it is all very well to tick those boxes if one does not apply to own life….so, my blog will now be centered on sharing with you what I am learning and trying to apply and I hope you will give me feed back.

 

10292190_328209073999146_3885498937958724245_n

 

Today, I have been blessed by several talks by Peter Horrobin of Ellel Ministries which I cannot share with you, due to the copyright nature of the course, but I can say that this man is the one I would call my hero….if I were to have a hero.  He talks so much sense, and everything resounds deeply in me…much by experience of the trauma and sickness he talks of but also life experiences.  So acknowledgement of self and the battered old wreck syndrome it is time to be renewed, to be healed, humanly, physically, mentally, spiritually, historically.  As he says, this is not an overnight event necessarily and quite obviously, in my case, it is going to be slow and steady.  He knows I would prefer an instantaneous event, being as this vessel ain’t too patient.

 

10434170_329553473864706_3553835817861628613_n

 

Some verses that have blessed me this week…..

“Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within.”  Psalms 51:6

“He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick; He will faithfully bring justice.”  Isaiah 42:3

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

“Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when i stand up; You understand”.  Psalms139:1

“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

 

10150530_325642794255774_5546784539566279893_n

Sparkling Gems from Rick Renner

TIRED OF WAITING.

When I read this devotional this morning two conflicting emotions raged through me.  One to shout with joy at finally having an answer to the question I had been asking myself over the past five years.  Two, an inner scream of frustration and anger of lost time…my inactivity, sitting, waiting, doing nothing but moaning and being lost, focussing on the wrong things, such as family issues and not being able to resolve them.  If only I had stayed focussed on God and driven myself deeper into a better understanding of all things in Him..instead of dwelling in the despair of my losses.  Easy to see the stupidity in reflection.

So now, to activate what has been given me through this daily reading and drive myself forward with the help of new friends (and old) a wonderful fellowship and support via church….who knows…only God.  Reminder to self, wait on no one but God.

 

Share this Devotional: Tweet thiswww.renner.org: Share this at Facebook

Are You Tired of Waiting For Your
Fruit-Producing Season?

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. — Colossians 2:7

Have you ever been so frustrated at waiting for a fruitful time in your life that you said to the Lord, “When is the fruit-producing season ever going to start in my life? I’ve worked, believed, and waited, but I am a little tired of waiting to see the fruit I long to see in my life. How long do I have to wait, Lord?”

I encourage you today to stay on track and refuse to give up, because you’re about to reach the greatest period of fruitfulness you’ve ever known. Before a fruit-producing tree reaches a time in its growth when it blossoms and bears fruit, first it sends its roots down deep into the earth where it can draw on a constant source of nourishment. Then as it continues to be nourished from below, it begins to send its limbs upward and outward.

During the life of that tree, it must endure the elements of every season — the heat, the cold, the sleet, the rain, and the snow — before it ever blossoms. Because those roots are deeply tapped into a continuous source of strength, nourishment, and energy, the tree is able to outlast all the seasons and eventually become a fruit-producing tree.

Psalm 1:3 uses the example of a tree to declare that when a person is rooted in God’s Word, he is “…like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

If you are wondering how long it is going to take before your fruit-producing season finally arrives, don’t get too discouraged! The bigger the tree, the greater the need for that tree to send its roots down deep into the earth to draw nourishment and to give it a firm footing against the wind, the weather, and the elements of the different seasons. That continual nourishment will also protect the tree from pestilence that may try to attack it through the years.

In light of this, consider what the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:7: “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” I want you to especially notice the word “rooted” in this verse. It comes from the Greek word ridzo, which means to be firmly and deeply rooted, making the object fixed, steady, stable, and strong. This is the picture of a strong tree whose roots go down deep and reach its source of nourishment. The tree is also held securely in place by those roots, regardless of the weather or the environmental opposition that comes against it.

Rather than complain that it’s taking too long for your fruit-producing season to arrive, you need to thank God for this time in your life! Take this time to send your roots down deep and tap into the strength of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. If your roots are securely fixed in Jesus Christ, you will outlast every season, every foul climate, and every storm. Eventually you will enter into the finest fruit-producing season of your life, your ministry, your family, or your business.

Honestly, you need to thank God that things haven’t happened faster in your life! Have you ever seen someone who reached success too quickly? That person usually loses his success just as quickly as he gained it because he didn’t have the roots and the experience necessary to maintain the success he gained. When people achieve success too quickly, it often means they don’t have the roots, the depth, and the sure foundation to bear them up in the difficult times they will encounter as they go through the seasons of life.

So take this time to work on your personal life, your mind, your thinking, your discipline, your finances, your weight, your relationships, and your behavior. While you are waiting for that fruit-producing season to come to pass in your life, use this time to put off the old man and to put on the new man (Colossians 3:9,10). Spend this phase of your life wisely by renewing your mind to the Word of God (Ephesians 4:23) and being certain your affections are set on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2).

If you use your time wisely, there will be no wasted time in your life. But if you just sit around and complain that it’s taking too long to get where you want to go, you will waste time. Sitting and complaining doesn’t make anything happen faster — and it often further delays the manifestation of the answer you’ve been waiting for.

So refuse to belong to those who are grumpy and complaining all the time. Instead, look at this time in your life as a blessing sent from Heaven to help you get yourself rooted deeply in Jesus Christ! Then send your limbs upward and outward as you tap into the power of God. Eventually you’ll begin to see blossoms budding in your life, signaling that you are about to enter your long-awaited season of bringing forth much fruit!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for not sending success to me too quickly. I know that if I had achieved success earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready for it. In fact, I might have destroyed it due to my own lack of experience and my immaturity. Help me embrace this time in my life as a time of preparation. Help me to truthfully analyze every part of my life in order to see what areas need to be more deeply rooted in You. I want my roots to go down so deeply that no storms of life and no attacks from the devil will be able to move me from the place where You have called me. Help me to stay so fixed, firm, strong, and stable that once I enter the fruit-producing season, I will never leave it!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am firmly and deeply rooted in God’s Word. As a result, I am fixed, steady, stable, and strong like a tree whose roots go down deep. I am tapped into the life of Jesus Christ, and He has become my Source of nourishment. I am held so securely in place that I am unaffected by the storms of life and the pestilence that the devil tries to use to attack me. I will outlast every season, every foul climate, and every storm. I am about to enter into the finest fruit-producing season of my life, my ministry, my family, and my business. My fruit-producing season is getting ready to begin!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER

1. Have you ever seen people quickly reach success, but it seemed that they lost their success just as quickly as they attained it? Can you name specific individuals who come to mind as examples?

2. What were the reasons these individuals gained and lost success so quickly? Reflect on this question for a while; then write down your observations.

3. What do you need to be doing differently in your own life to make sure you don’t ever fall into the category of those who quickly gained and quickly lost success?

logo

 

Peace.

 

download

Since moving to our present church nine months ago, we have been blessed with new friendships, much encouragement and support, truly great preaching and teaching, anointed worship… where both of us have experienced surprise and a little disappointment we had not been swept away in the rapture, discipleship and healing and last, but not least, starting a new Homegroup from our own home.

We have enjoyed what each of the members of our homegrown has brought and feel so thankful that the group are cohesive and very willing for the Holy Spirit to lead us forward.

Last night one of our members led us through the bible passages on peace.  Not worldly peace, but the peace of God.  We discovered so many passages that talk of peace.  It was good to share our own actual experiences of peace, where I spoke of the year 2007/2008, when, despite the loss of children, dogs, home and the pain of what had driven me to that place, I felt peace and joy in Him.

It was agreed we can feel  at peace, even in the darkest of places, in the most painful of places, if only we would refer to our Father.  He takes us through if we let Him.  We can come through unscathed, if we stay focussed on Him.

download (1)

Peace does not come without cost though.  To know that He promises us peace, to know that it is there if we want it is one thing, but to attain it is to align yourself to Him, to be walking that straight and narrow path, to be relating to Him through prayer and worship, to be listening.

Cost? Yes, it means putting aside the time we spend doing other things and forming a discipline which in turn becomes a way of life.

It means putting aside blame, working on forgiveness, confessing our own sins, swallowing our pride, surrendering to God, being accountable, (asking God to reveal the sin within and addressing it).   Holding onto the lies of the past, whether self inflicted or not, prevents relationship with God, which in turn, prevents that all encompassing peace.  Holding onto grudges, misconceptions, misunderstandings and remaining in unforgiveness.  Not seeking reconciliation and anything and everything that is flouting the will of God will prevent us from attaining that depth of peace you have been promised by your Father.  It is possible that it will in fact, leave you spiritually uncovered which in turn means satan has an open door to meddle with your life.

Interestingly, this morning’s daily reading from Seeds of Kingdom (Ellel Ministries) was about peace as well.  (see below).  Not coincidence, a word from God, that my own peace is attainable and is coming.   I am in the midst  of attending a discipleship course ,and last Monday was a day long session on the seven steps to freedom from Freedom in Christ Ministries http://www.ficm.org.uk/   It was exhausting but releasing  and a sense of calm arrived within.  I know that I will need to continue to work through the steps and give myself an annual review to maintain the freedom I have so far received, but to attain more also.

Never again do I want to be in that place in the desert where satan has free will in my life because I was drowning in my pain and oblivious to what God was saying and trying to do in me.

The cost to oneself is far greater than that of aligning to God, not only is all peace lost, but health and finances flounder, the enemy feeds you lies and one thing leads to another until you are in a downward spiral of despair.

 

download (2) “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit, soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Blame is the burden of accusation for wrongdoing. It’s right to face the truth of who’s been responsible for particular damage in our lives. It prepares the way for either confession of our own sin, or the forgiveness of others. Unfortunately our carnal nature is usually reluctant to acknowledge personal blame for wrongdoing and more ready to self-justify our own actions and point the finger at others (Isaiah 58:9). Occasionally, when struggling with issues of abuse and personal insecurity, we may feel forced to take the blame for something which we’re not responsible for, particularly when we feel under pressure from others in a position of authority.

We live in a world unwilling to accept that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), a culture of frequent blame-shifting, and a culture more ready to claim entitlement than confess sin. Of course particular individuals may have sinned against us, and they’re wholly responsible for hurt in our lives. In this case our forgiveness of them is the way through to the healing of our inner wounds.

It’s appropriate to consider the apportionment of responsibility in any sin issue, for truth is a doorway to healing. However, the ministry of Jesus is founded in forgiveness, to release each one of us from needing to carry the defiling accusations of the enemy (Revelation 12:10-11), and enable us to walk as pardoned children of God, with all debts paid.

—————————————————–

Some verses to think on.

Psalms 29:11 The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Psalms 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing shall offend them.
Proverbs 3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Isaiah 48:18 O that you had listened to my commandments! then had your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Ephesians 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were near.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Peace be with you.

Prodigals

amandalannon:

Although it is great to know I am not alone in this painful process, I would never wish the experience upon another. I found this so helpful and hope to attain the books recommended in order to help my prayer life in praying for my children.

Originally posted on messagefromthefield.wordpress.com:

Image

I was on my way home from work when my wife called. She had picked up our 17 year old daughter from work. There had been an argument over some questions my wife asked her and she jumped out of the car and informed my wife that she was tired of our questions and our interfering with her life. She was not coming home, moving out.

And that is what she did.

We should have seen it coming. It was not the first confrontation but you always want to believe the best about your child.

There were many questions that went through our minds over the next days weeks and months. Most beginning with “why”. Along with the questions, emotions. Denial, anger, frustration, disappointment fear (big one) sorrow, loss.

And you remember. The day she was born so tiny and helpless. Her first steps, her smile and laughter. Her first…

View original 797 more words

Do not worry about tomorrow.

download

Whoa!  This made me sit up and take notice.  (See below the reading I received today from Ellel Ministries, Seeds of the Kingdom.)

Which Way, Lord?“This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look … ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.””Jeremiah 6:16, NIV

download (1)

Are we standing at the crossroads, unsure which way to take? Perhaps we’re lost in a fog and can’t see the way ahead? Or it may be that all doors appear to be closed and we’ve run out of options. What should we do? The logical Christian answer is that we ask the Lord for direction. But in the midst of turmoil and confusion, when our attitudes are wrong and our patience is thin, and worry begins to take hold, how can we hear the voice of God? Jesus said, ‘Do not worry about tomorrow’ (Matthew 6:34). ‘Do not worry about your life’ (Matthew 6:25). The Apostle Paul said, ‘Do not be anxious about anything’(Philippians 4:6). It’s plainly wrong to worry, but how can we avoid it?

download (2)

By worrying we become more concerned with the enemy’s influence over or lives than in trusting God. A worrying Christian is easy meat for the enemy. We listen to his lies telling us that God doesn’t care about us, and we believe them. ‘Be alert … Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:6). ‘Do not give the devil a foothold’ (Ephesians 4:27). We need to look constantly to the Lord, not at our circumstances. Trust Him. He is aware of our situation and really does care. ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you’ (1 Peter 5:7).

download (3)

If we ensure that our lives are right with God through repentance of self and forgiveness of others, and there’s no loophole through which the enemy can gain control, we can turn towards God and begin to see things in a different light, from His perspective. Then His purposes can be worked out in our lives: ‘Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’(Matthew 6:33).

Once our distractions, anxieties and fears are put behind us, and with God to the fore, His direction can be discerned. ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths’ (Proverbs 3: 5-6). Our will and our wants can be handed over to Him, without prejudice, giving Him freedom to act on our behalf.

images

‘Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life’ (Psalm 143:8).

http://ellel.org/uk/daily-devotionals/which-way-lord)

images (1)

My battle with myself…. Be still and know He is God or get busy overcoming  and drive yourself into the ground trying.

Cleaning today prior to visitors tomorrow I see the damp patches on the wall, the peeling paint the crumbling plaster, the shot windows, the tattiness of all the decor and I despair at my inability to do anything about it and how much worse it is all going to be if and when I can.

Then I read my daily readings. Of course, this is why I receive daily readings (to help me grow in Christ) and I confess, I don’t always read them.  My confession to a friend the other day that I was angry with God (along with many other’s, including myself) so was punishing myself by withdrawing and comfort eating,  AGAIN. (Angry because everything is always such a battle, nothing appears to be resolved, the ongoing rejection from my children, the battle with my emotions over what people have done to cause those rejections and all the rest)

I have often been reactionary when the chips are down, it is not a mature response but it boils up through a lifetime of hurt, abuse and rejection, it will be dealt with one day, if not here on earth then in heaven, but it is me and thankfully I have a husband who never, ever, ever makes me feel bad about my responses, he simply loves me through them.

1932341_1480422998851682_1822061042_n

Blessed am I in my husband, in my church, in my new and old friends.  Why does the journey seem so difficult, I look around and see so many people who are clearly “sorted” and yet I do battle daily, warfare in health, emotions, thoughts, responses, family….sometimes life seems so horrible and I feel so ungrateful for all the good chunks.

They are blips in my walk with Christ and I understand many have them, just don’t air them.  It is a choice to keep on going, it is a choice to lean on Proverbs 3:5-6 it is a choice not to worry about tomorrow and it is a choice to not keeping looking back.

images (2)

Happy New Year

happy-new-year-desire-heart-550x320

 

A mountain to climb.

roadmap-of-peace-philippians-4-7-And-the-peace-of-God-which-transcends-all-understanding-will-guard-your-hearts-and-your-minds-in-Christ-Jesus

A timely daily reading in preparation for my task for 2014, to put my entire past into a place of peace with Jesus.  I have longed for it and I feel I am now in the right place to do so.  New Church filled with Christlike people and of course my Godly husband who has been struggling all alone to bring me to that place.  I fear that outpouring to come but I embrace what will follow.  Bring it on!  May I take this opportunity to wish each of you a very happy new year.  I pray that you will be filled with a rich sense of peace and an abundance of God’s love.

26 December, 2013

Today’s Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International 
Memory

“You will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.”
Isaiah 54:4, NAS

It`s that time of year particularly associated with looking back and looking forward. Our memory, the storage and recall of information from the past, is surely a wonderful, though complex, aspect of God`s design for the human body. It requires detailed interaction between the physical senses, the brain, the soul and, not least, the human spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11)

Trauma can cause a break to these physical and spiritual connections within the body, causing memory loss or distortion. Also, we may make a conscious or unconscious choice to disconnect from painful or guilty memories, as a coping mechanism. Any such breaks in the rightful flow of memory, especially when chosen, are contrary to God`s order and can give opportunity for the enemy to interfere with the complex systems of memory within the body, soul and spirit.

Rightful remembrance should be part of normal life (Luke 22:19). Those memories which have been painful can be brought to a place of peace with Jesus, when we choose not to allow broken-ness to be the way (even unconsciously) of dealing with the wounds or sins of the past. Just choosing to forget them does not resolve them; it simply buries them in a place of spiritual isolation and darkness.

God does not totally wipe out difficult memories but, through His healing of wounds and His forgiveness of sin, He removes the nagging remembrance of pain and shame.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that I can look forward to the year ahead without having to carry a buried remembrance of the wrongs and hurts of the past. I`m so pleased that they can be fully resolved through You. I can be at peace.

Happy Christmas

 

 

Stopping by just to wish our blogging community, new friends and old, a very Happy Christmas.  May the blessing of the Lord rest upon you and fill you to overflowing with His love and power, now and always.

Hope to be back early in the New Year.

▶ All You’ve Ever Wanted – Casting Crowns.

via ▶ All Youve Ever Wanted Official Lyric Video – YouTube.

I just looked up today
And realized how far away I am from where You are
You gave me life worth dying for
But between the altar and the door
I bought the lies that promised more
And here I go again

Lord, I know I let You down
But somehow, I will make You proud
I’ll turn this sinking ship around
And make it back to You

But all my deeds and my good name
Are just dirty rags that tear and strain
To cover all my guilty stains
That You already washed away

(‘Cause) All You’ve ever wanted, all You’ve ever wanted
All You’ve ever wanted was my heart
Freedom’s arms are open, my chains have all been broken
Relentless love has called me from the start
And all You wanted was my heart

I was chasing healing when I’d been made well
I was fighting battles when You conquered hell
Living free but from a prison cell
Lord, I lay it down today

So I’ll stop living off of how I feel
And start standing on Your truth revealed
Jesus is my strength, my shield
And He will never fail me

No more chains, I’ve been set free
No more fighting battles You’ve won for me
Now in Christ, I stand complete

 

Wisdom

true-wisdom-for-life_t

A truly wise person is one who will apply all he/she knows to his/her own life.  It is one thing to be wise in theory, to have learnt from experience, to have learnt from reading, to know in theory all that is right and true, but to align oneself with the truths of the bible, to truly apply wisdom to ones own life and to walk in it is the truly wise person.

There are many people who one could label as wise….they throw out a line which makes sense for the moment it is given, they can quote the truths of the bible, but are they living it themselves.  We have prophets galore throughout the world, prophets are meant to be wisebut are they living it?

Wisdom keeps you from trouble.   Wisdom is discernment, judgement, insight, common sense, knowledge,

There are many verses within the bible about wisdom, here are a few ……

images (3)

Job 12:12  Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.  Experience teaches wisdom.

Job 28:28  Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.

Psalm 111:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Proverbs 1:7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

Proverbs 4:6-7  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Proverbs 10:13  Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.

Proverbs 11:2  When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 12:18  Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 13:10  Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Proverbs 14:1  The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:8  The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

Proverbs 14:33  Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, but what is in the heart of fools is made known.

images (1)

Proverbs 15:31  He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.

Proverbs 16:16  How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!

Proverbs 17:24  A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

Proverbs 19:20  Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.

Proverbs 24:14  Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 29:15  To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

Ecclesiastes 7:12  For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.

Ecclesiastes 8:1  Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.

1 Corinthians 1:30  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

James 3:17  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Queen Esther 3

Always praying for wisdom.  It is easy to look back and acknowledge that you could have done something differently that is not wisdom, that is regret, wisdom is to not err in the same way again.  Oh for wisdom.

Broken families blighting children….. The Christian Institute

I believe there are many who would entirely agree with the sentiments this article states.. I know that it is something that is felt deep within my heart as I watch and also suffer, along with many other’s, the results of bad parenting of the generation growing up today.  Have a read of this article from The Christian Institute.

“Children are suffering because ‘hollowed out’ and fragmented families are failing to properly teach them about right and wrong, Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned.

Society is “pussyfooting around” and “making excuses” for poor parenting, Sir Michael Wilshaw added.

He said kids “lack more than money” – they are being afflicted by a lack of discipline and parents who aren’t taking responsibility for teaching them well.

Responsibility

Sir Michael commented: “Some people will tell you that social breakdown is the result of material poverty – it’s more than this”.

He said: “These children lack more than money: They lack parents who take responsibility for seeing them raised well. It is this poverty of accountability which costs them.

“These children suffer because they are not given clear rules or boundaries, have few secure or safe attachments at home, and little understanding of the difference between right and wrong behaviour.

Hollow

“If we believe that the family is the great educator – and I certainly do believe that – and the community the great support system, then we as a society should worry deeply about the hollowing out and fragmentation of both.”

Sir Michael made the comments as Ofsted launched its annual report on social care across England.

In 2011 a leading psychologist warned that parents are facing increasing violence and abuse from their children who do not get their own way.

Spoilt

The “little emperors” of this “spoilt generation” not only have violent outbursts at home but also at school, and even nursery.

Dr Aric Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said the age at which children were violent and disrespectful towards their teachers “is coming down to nursery level”.

He added: “They’re swearing and throwing chairs at their teachers at younger and younger ages. It isn’t surprising this is happening in a domestic setting.

“Parent abuse and parent battery appear to be on the rise and what seems to underlie this is to do with parenting, the lack of boundaries and the reversal of authority.”

Children are suffering because ‘hollowed out’ and fragmented families are failing to properly teach them about right and wrong, Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned.

Society is “pussyfooting around” and “making excuses” for poor parenting, Sir Michael Wilshaw added.

He said kids “lack more than money” – they are being afflicted by a lack of discipline and parents who aren’t taking responsibility for teaching them well.

Responsibility

Sir Michael commented: “Some people will tell you that social breakdown is the result of material poverty – it’s more than this”.

He said: “These children lack more than money: They lack parents who take responsibility for seeing them raised well. It is this poverty of accountability which costs them.

“These children suffer because they are not given clear rules or boundaries, have few secure or safe attachments at home, and little understanding of the difference between right and wrong behaviour.

Hollow

“If we believe that the family is the great educator – and I certainly do believe that – and the community the great support system, then we as a society should worry deeply about the hollowing out and fragmentation of both.”

Sir Michael made the comments as Ofsted launched its annual report on social care across England.

In 2011 a leading psychologist warned that parents are facing increasing violence and abuse from their children who do not get their own way.

Spoilt

The “little emperors” of this “spoilt generation” not only have violent outbursts at home but also at school, and even nursery.

Dr Aric Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said the age at which children were violent and disrespectful towards their teachers “is coming down to nursery level”.

He added: “They’re swearing and throwing chairs at their teachers at younger and younger ages. It isn’t surprising this is happening in a domestic setting.

“Parent abuse and parent battery appear to be on the rise and what seems to underlie this is to do with parenting, the lack of boundaries and the reversal of authority.”

Children are suffering because ‘hollowed out’ and fragmented families are failing to properly teach them about right and wrong, Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned.

Society is “pussyfooting around” and “making excuses” for poor parenting, Sir Michael Wilshaw added.

He said kids “lack more than money” – they are being afflicted by a lack of discipline and parents who aren’t taking responsibility for teaching them well.

Responsibility

Sir Michael commented: “Some people will tell you that social breakdown is the result of material poverty – it’s more than this”.

He said: “These children lack more than money: They lack parents who take responsibility for seeing them raised well. It is this poverty of accountability which costs them.

“These children suffer because they are not given clear rules or boundaries, have few secure or safe attachments at home, and little understanding of the difference between right and wrong behaviour.

Hollow

“If we believe that the family is the great educator – and I certainly do believe that – and the community the great support system, then we as a society should worry deeply about the hollowing out and fragmentation of both.”

Sir Michael made the comments as Ofsted launched its annual report on social care across England.

In 2011 a leading psychologist warned that parents are facing increasing violence and abuse from their children who do not get their own way.

Spoilt

The “little emperors” of this “spoilt generation” not only have violent outbursts at home but also at school, and even nursery.

Dr Aric Sigman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, said the age at which children were violent and disrespectful towards their teachers “is coming down to nursery level”.

He added: “They’re swearing and throwing chairs at their teachers at younger and younger ages. It isn’t surprising this is happening in a domestic setting.

“Parent abuse and parent battery appear to be on the rise and what seems to underlie this is to do with parenting, the lack of boundaries and the reversal of authority.”

Friend or foe?


images

What is a friend?  Someone you relate to,  and who reciprocates that relationship.  Someone who you can confide in, someone who is trustworthy and loyal.  Someone who will tell you when you are being difficult, someone who will confront your bad behaviour but also confront those who oppose you.  Someone who will stand by your side through thick and thin.

Someone who is not afraid of being honest with you.  Someone who likes you, loves you, enjoys you, someone you might not actually see or speak to for months at a time, but when you come together it is as though it was yesterday.

I have had a few of those sort of friends in my life, who have been truly loyal who have walked beside me and held my hand through the hardest times of my life ever and have rejoiced in the great times.  They are consistent in their relating to me, they do not judge me, and I know I can depend upon them.

One of the wonderful things about friends is that you learn so much from each other, and through that learning and sharing, you grow together, through good friends, the good stuff rubs off.

I have had friends who have walked in and walked out from time to time and those who have come and gone, as they move on to other things, places, times in their lives.

There are friends you hold with a loose hand, who you can have good times with but don’t want to be involved in your hard times, there are people who walk into your life during a crisis and then move on.

There are people I can call friends but have never met, such as facebook friends who have written privately, shared the highs and lows, been there when no one else was aroundthere are people I know from way back who touch base once a year but the friends one never needs are those who betray you.

I have had friends such as those….ones you have spent much time supporting, giving up much time and energy, getting emotionally involved with, encouraging, loving, caring, holding close during their most difficult times, people who can literally suck the life out of you.

There are people who are so artificial, you go slowly with, almost reluctant to get close, but they come at you in a full on friendliness, sucking up, telling you things they think you want to hear  …only to find that they are saying the opposite about you behind your back!

To my foes, my enemies,”You intended to harm me, but God used it for good to accomplish what is now being done!”  I ask God to bless youI pray for your personal enlightenment.

As for my real friends, I thank God for for you.  If you are reading this, thank you for sticking close, thank you for your time, love, encouragement, support, shoulder, tissues, the laughter and the tears.  Please know you are never taken for granted, you are loved and appreciated at all times.

A-friend-is-someone-who-knows-the-song-in-your-heart-and-can-sing-it-back-to-you-when-you-have-forgotten-the-words

New Clothes Day – Bible in One Year by Nicky Gumbel

Clothes shop

Clothes shop

This daily reading dropped into my mail box yesterday and I did not read it until after my blog of yesterday had been published.  I thought it very timely and an excellent follow on.

New Clothes

I tend to wear very similar clothes every day.  I cannot claim to have much ‘dress sense’.  Yet, believe it or not, before Pippa and I got married it was even worse.

When I got married, my flared trousers, misshapen sweaters with holes, string vests, ties (inherited from an uncle) and dilapidated trousers had to go.  I hate getting rid of things – especially clothes to which I am attached.  They feel like old friends.  But alas, the time had come to be re-clothed.

As well as the outer clothing, our hearts and minds have an inner clothing.  When we come into a relationship with God through Jesus, the old clothes have to go and we need a new set of clothes for our hearts and minds.

Each of the passages for today tell us something about what it means to reclothe our hearts and minds.

1.  Control the way you think about other people

Proverbs 24:15-22

Have you had the experience of someone doing a wrong to you or hurting you in some way and then finding out they got into trouble themselves?

This passage warns us against thinking that they are getting what they deserved and rejoicing over their problems: ‘Do not gloat when your enemies fall; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove’ (vv.17–18a).

It is so tempting to gloat when those who have been causing us problems and opposing us mess up and fall.  It is rather tempting to enjoy the moment and feel that they got what they deserved.  But this is the wrong response.  We need to watch our hearts and resist thesethoughts.

As Joyce Meyer writes, ‘It takes a lot of “heart work” for us not to be at least a little bit glad to see that person get what is coming to him … We should always remember that “hurting people hurt people.”  Those who hurt us are usually hurting within themselves, and their pain may be so strong that they are not even aware they are hurting us.’

Lord, forgive us for the times when we have gloated when those who have attacked us have fallen.  Help us to resist the temptation to rejoice.  Thank you that it is possible to control our hearts with the help of the Holy Spirit.

2.  Clothe your heart and mind with love

Colossians 3:1-4:1

When we become Christians we are ‘in Christ’.  We are united with him in his death and resurrection.  Therefore, Paul can write that ‘you died’ (3:3).  And he can also write, ‘you have been raised with Christ … your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ (vv.1,3).  In the future, ‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ (v.4).

Because of all that Christ has done for us and made possible, we need to reclothe our hearts and minds.

Change what you think about (vv.1–12)
Right action begins with right thinking.  If we want to live this resurrection life, made possible by Jesus Paul writes: ‘set your hearts on things above … Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things’ (vv.1–2).

This is not easy because we are surrounded by ‘earthly things’ (v.2) and temptations.  We need to take radical action.  He writes, ‘that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy’ (v.5, MSG).  He reminds them that this is what they used to do before they were Christians.

We need to ‘strip off’ the old clothes (v.9, AMP).  Now you must ‘rid yourselves’ (v.8) of the bad stuff: ‘anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on [‘clothed yourselves with’, AMP] the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator’ (vv.8–10).

Put on the new clothes.  We are God’s chosen people and therefore you are called to live as such.  This means a radical change of your position in the world.  You need to be active not passive.  Instead of the bad stuff, you are called to clothe yourself with ‘compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience’ (v.12).

Change your reaction to others (vv.13–15)
Christ lives in every Christian, regardless of background.  In Christ there is no racial barrier (‘no Greek or Jew’), no religious barrier (‘circumcised or uncircumcised’), no national barrier (‘barbarian, Scythian’) and no class barrier (‘slave or free’) but ‘Christ is all, and in all’ (v.11).

Paul goes on, ‘bear with each other’ (v.13).  In the world, if someone lets us down, that is often the end of the relationship.  But Pauls tells us to ‘forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you’ (v.13).

Forgiveness is a uniquely Christian virtue.  Others may forgive, but only Christians have such a solid basis for forgiveness.  As CS Lewis says, ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’

One word sums up our new set of clothes: ‘love’.  Paul writes, ‘And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity’ (v.14).  Love is not just an emotion, it is an action.  It is something we ‘put on’.  As we put on our physical clothes, so we are to put on love.

This is the beauty of the Christian community – Christ brings about a radical change in our relationships.  The way Christians relate is so different from the world and should be so attractive.

How is it possible?  We must set our hearts and minds in the right place and, as Paul goes on to write, ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace’ (v.15).

God’s peace acts like a referee in our hearts – telling us what is in and what is out.  One of the questions we should ask about any decision is ‘do we sense God’s peace about what we’re about to do?’

Change your attitude to Jesus (vv.16–17)
We need to be constantly guided by ‘the word of Christ’ (v.16).  He says, ‘Let the word of Christ – the message – have the run of the house.  Give it plenty of room in your lives.  Instruct and direct one another using good common sense.  And sing, sing your hearts out to God!’ (v.16, MSG).

This kind of community will come from being centred on the worship of God and listening to the word of Christ in the Scriptures.  It will be a community of love, ‘sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord’ (v.22).

It will also be one of hard work.  Whether we are an employer or an employee we are serving Christ.  We need to do our jobs well and with a good attitude in our hearts and minds: ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord … It is the Lord Christ you are serving … you also have a Master in heaven’ (3:23; 4:1).

Lord, thank you for this beautiful picture of the Christian community – a people whose hearts and minds are set in the right direction.  Help us to strip off the bad stuff and to clothe ourselves with the good stuff.  Help us today to live a life of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Help us to forgive as you have forgiven us.  May your peace rule in our hearts.  May the word of Christ dwell in us richly as a community, in our teaching and in our worship.

3.  Change the direction of your heart and mind towards God

Jeremiah 14:1-15:21

The book of Jeremiah is a call to repentance that begins with Jeremiah’s own heart.  ‘Therefore, this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman …” ’ (15:19).  Repentance means changing our hearts and minds and turning back to God.

Jeremiah was God’s spokesperson.  He turned his heart and mind to listening to the word of the Lord.  This was in stark contrast to the false prophets of the day.  ‘These preachers are liars, and they use my name to cover their lies.  I never sent them, I never commanded them, and I don’t talk with them.  The sermons they’ve been handing out are sheer illusion, tissues of lies, whistlings in the dark’ (14:14, MSG).

On the other hand, Jeremiah’s heart and mind was set on listening to the Lord – ‘This is the word of the Lord to Jeremiah’ (v.1), ‘Then the Lord said to me …’ (15:1).  He knew how amazing it was to hear the words of the Lord.  ‘When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight’ (v.16).  Ultimately, this is the only thing that will satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and minds.

Resolve to continue to read God’s words every day and to meditate on them in your heart and mind.  Once you have heard the word of the Lord, you need to pass on the life-changing message unchanged: ‘Let your words change them.  Don’t change your words to suit them’ (v.19, MSG).

Lord, thank you that when we repent and change our minds you restore us so that we may serve you (v.19).  May your words bring joy and delight to my heart.

God be in my head, And in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, And in my looking;
God be in my mouth, And in my speaking;
God be in my heart, And in my thinking;
God be at my end, And at my departing (Sarum Missal).

Pippa Adds

Colossians 3:12–17

We had this wonderful passage read at our wedding.  If we could all live as these verses suggest, it would make for very happy marriages, families, churches …

My Enemies

love-your-enemies

(Extracts are from R.T Kendall’s Total Forgiveness.)

“What is an enemy?  This is a person who either wants to harm you, or who would say something about you so as to call your credibility or integrity into question.  They would rejoice at your downfall or lack of success. They would not pray that God will bless you and prosper you but sincerely hope that God will bring you down.”

I know, without any doubt whatsoever, that I have several enemies, you have possibly concluded who they are from previous writings and what has been said about their actions against me.  Their choice, not mine.

“An enemy is a person who hates you, but would not always admit to the word hate.  I say that because, should your enemy be a Christian, they know it is wrong to hate.  So they will use any other word or words”

Then I can openly say that alongside those who are out and out enemies, I also know some Christians who are also my enemy.

“An enemy is also a person who will take unfair advantage of you.  To quote Matthew 5:44 in the Authorised Version, they ‘despitefully use you’.  They walk all over you. “

“An enemy will often persecute.  The Greek word for ‘to persecute’ simply means ‘to follow or to pursue’.  They pursue you because they are obsessed with you. 

I have friends who think I have exaggerated or become paranoid about the extent and reasoning behind those who persecute me, that there is a campaign, by my ex-husband and eldest daughter to discredit me..a conspiracy.  They think that I have become hypersensitive.  However, since marrying Keith and having an “on hand” witness to the events that have unfolded in the past three years alone, he can clearly see, along with other’s who do not know the people I mention in my writings, that there is evidence of conspiracy and clear persecution by several to cause me as much harm as possible.

“You intended to harm me but God used it for good to accomplish what is now being done!”   Kendall writes “The Blessing of having an enemy”   “The greater the hurt, the greater the blessing that will come”

Seriously???  I have waded through his book slowly, laboriously, trying to put into practise what he has written, much of it has put my back up.  I have spat back at him, “but you don’t have a clue what they have put me through”but of course he does, he has had his own experiences from which to talk from.  There is a horrible element within me that does want revenge, and I don’t like it.  I don’t like it one little bit.  I know it is wrong, I know it is a big sin within and I pray for it to leave.  So the forgiveness thing is huge… I have had too much from my enemies, but still, I must forgive.

So, to read that I am blessed in having just one enemy and will be greatly blessed from the hugeness of the hurt from that one enemy I can look forward to an abundance of blessings from the entire grouping?   YES.  But only if I forgive.

“The chief motivation to forgive is not only the promise of mercy by being merciful, but the greater reward that is promised – whether it be bestowed here on earth or in heaven.  I say that because of Jesus’ words when he came to the ultimate Beatitude:”

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Matthew 5:11-12)

Kendall writes, “if you have a real, relentless, genuine enemy – and you are sure that this person is not a figment of your anxiety or imagination – you should see yourself as sitting on a mine of twenty-four carat gold.  Except for the fact that all enemies of Christ are ours as well, not everybody has a fierce enemy.  Not everybody is that blessed.  But if you are so blessed – and Jesus saves the best for last in the Beatitudes –grasp the opportunity with both hands.

“When you know that a person is obsessed with you and is out to discredit you, you are very, very blessed indeed.  This doesn’t happen to everybody.  You are chosen, for behind your enemy is the hand of God.  God has raised up yoru enemy – possibly just for you!”

I don’t want to be seen as ungrateful, but I would have preferred not to have any enemy at all, but if this is the way God is to bless me, then I must be thankful!

If my way of dealing with my situation is by sharing it here on the internet for any or all the world to read, then I am sure it will bless others too?  I can but hope so.  But no, it won’t, for if there is an element of revenge in my heart as I form the words for you to read, then the blessing is null and void, for there is no forgiveness in the want of revenge.  So I say to you, that if you have read any revengefulness in my writing, please point it out, for that is not my motive here at all.  God will know anyway….from Him nothing is hidden.

We are to love our enemies.  How many of you actually have enemies.  It is easy to say you must love that person in church who you don’t particularly feel harmonious toward, they are not your “sort of person”but you can love them, they do you no harm.  But can you actually love the person who means to harm you, has harmed you, wilfully and persistently.

I can say I am continuously working on forgiving the people who have wilfully harmed me,  yes I can forgivebut can I love them?  Not yet.  I am confident that once I have forgiven, love will come naturally.  That is my greatest challenge.

We are back to this matter of choice.  Love is not what you feel.  Forgiving is not doing what comes naturally.  It is often said ‘You can’t help what you feel.’  We therefore assume, is the choice to love someone repressing or denying feelings?  No.  Repression is almost never a good thing to do.  Repressing is playing games with your mind and you may not know you are doing it.  Love is a conscious choice to forgive – even if you don’t feel like it.  Don’t wait until you feel like it or you probably never will forgive.  Do it because it is right, not because you feel like letting them of the hook. We therefore choose to forgive – or not to forgive.”

I choose to forgive, but it is hard, so, so hard.  It is a daily chore, it grates against my innermost feelings, my emotions, it is so unnatural…. but I have to choose  to do the right thing and the right thing is to forgive and to love my enemies.

There is no easy way to do this but to work through it, there is no “magic formula”, no wand to wave so it just happens, I don’t’ even think it is something that would happen miraculously, but I can ask Keith about that….it is a processa birthing almost.

Will unforgiveness make me bitter?  I don’t think it would make me bitter unless I allowed it, if I dwelt on it, kept scratching at the wounds inflicted and did not allow them to heal..that would create a bitterness, but I don’t think unforgiveness makes a person bitter.  There are those who have said they have forgiven, or lived through horrible periods, but still bring it up over and over and it is clear they find it very upsetting….almost whispering through the events in the hope that the bitterness or pain of that event is not revealed.

Forgiveness is more than just saying you forgive, it is cleaning the event out of your heart all together.  It is trying to forget the pain of it, letting it go, not reliving it.  Yes of course there are some hurts that have such an impact on ones life it is impossible to exclude them when sharing your past with new friends but it is not allowing the event to cause wounds when retelling.

An act done against you, a one off, such as someone willfully destroying a precious possession.  That possession cannot be regained and you will be sad for a long time that you no longer have it, but you can get over it, it does not have repercussions.

An act, such as familial rejection is difficult simply that you cannot pretend it has not happened…”do you have children”?  What do you say?   “No” to save having to explain that you do but they have rejected you.  Or “yes” and hope that no more questions are asked?  The truth is always the best answer.

My answer is “yes I have three children but they have all rejected me”.  It is then up to the person I have told, to decide whether they think I must be the most horrendous woman/mother on earth and not worth getting to know or that my children are the most ungrateful people on earth and I am most definitely worth getting to know.  So far, no one has turned their back on me when I have made that statement.

I will forgive my enemiesfor that is what is right, that is what is expected of me, and the very act of doing so will bless me for it will release me from their hooks.  I will go on to love those enemies and again, it will bless me, for it is obedience.  I do not want to ruin my fellowship with God by disobedience!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 359 other followers

%d bloggers like this: