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The Power of Prayer (Forgiveness)

Recently I found myself very disappointed in someone I considered a good friend. They did something to me that I felt (and still feel) was totally unacceptable and it was hard for me to swallow. I knew that I needed to forgive them and let it go but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it at the time.

Not wanting to hold a grudge, I began to quote any and every scripture I could remember (and maybe a few I made up) on forgiveness. But it seemed the moment I stopped quoting scripture, I got mad all over again.

Throughout that week, I kept rehearsing what happened and when I shared it with my husband and my sister, I got even angrier – it was like every time I told the story, the fire was being fueled. So I decided that I needed to stop talking about it because that was not helping the situation.

I’m sure you have all been there before …maybe it wasn’t a friend, perhaps it was a sibling, a co-worker, a neighbor or even someone at church. Whoever it was, they crossed you in some form or fashion and raised your blood pressure. You found yourself on this never ending cycle of anger because you couldn’t quite let it go.

In time, I realized that forgiveness is very hard in our own power… and at some point, I cleared my head and took it to God in prayer …and yet again, God amazed me with his ability to bring an inner peace in the midst of any situation.

Prayer is by far the greatest weapon we have. Prayer causes you to change your perspective on things.

While in prayer, God reminded me of the many times I had turned my back on Him. The many times I had disappointed Him. Yet, not once has He held back his forgiveness towards me.

He also reminded me that no one except Him is flawless, so I must not put people on a pedestal or expect them to never let me down. Yes, we expect certain things like respect from our friends, however at some point, we have probably all disrespected someone we cared about. How is it that we expect people to always be willing to forgive us but when the tables are turned – watch out!

Through prayer, I realized it was alright for me to be hurt by the situation, but it wasn’t alright for me to dwell there. God healed my wounds and gave me the courage to step back out and not allow this situation to dictate my mood, attitude or behavior towards the person who offended me.

There is something to be said about the power of prayer …next time I won’t wait so long to use it!

Written by Tanya James, Founder and president of The Master Plan. Tanya James is the author of From Promiscuity to Proverbs 31: Getting Off the Fence of Sexual Immorality. For more information about Tanya, log onto www.armedanddangerous.biz or www.themasterplan.biz.

Scripture Meditation ~ Breaking The Chains


Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. (Psa. 107:10,11,13-16 NIV)

Questions:
What grips you?
What has seized you?

What has you in its grasp?

Is there anything that makes you do what you do not want to do? 

Prayer:LORD, not all chains are made of iron. The pit of depression, the grip of addiction, or the pain of heartbreak and loss can be as strong as any chain of iron. I am grateful that You are able to deliver out of any kind of prison or break away any chains, no matter what they are made of. You can set me free anytime, anywhere, from anything that holds me in bondage. Give me courage to cry out to You and faith to believe that You hear me and will help me. Thank You that no matter how I feel, I am not alone, because You care about everything that concerns my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Word vs. Your Feelings

Every day, we are faced with a decision: Will we respond to life’s circumstances according to God’s Word or will we react emotionally? The initial temptation is to react emotionally, but in every circumstance, it’s truly your decision. 

Let’s examine three circumstances you’re going to have to face at some point in your life. I’ve also included some questions to ask yourself, which I encourage you to answer honestly. They will give you a good idea of how big a part your feelings play in these circumstances.

Circumstance #1: Change

Everything changes except God, and letting all the changes in our lives upset us won’t keep them from occurring. People change, circumstances change, our bodies change, our desires and passions change. 

Most changes take place without our permission. But we can choose to adapt. Adapting doesn’t change the circumstances, but it does keep you living in peace and joy as you go through change.

First Things First

Our thoughts are the first thing we need to deal with during change because thoughts directly affect emotions. When circumstances change, make the transition mentally, and your emotions will be a lot easier to manage. If something changes that you are not ready for and did not choose, you will more than likely have a variety of emotions about it.

The Power of God’s Word

“Emotions rise up and then move out, wanting us to follow them. When I feel that, I know I need to take action.”

By acting on God’s Word and not merely reacting to the situation, you’ll be able to manage your emotions instead of allowing them to manage you. I strongly recommend confessing the Word of God out loud. Even though what you confess may be the opposite of how you feel, keep doing it. God’s Word has inherent power to change our feelings, bring comfort to us, and quiet our distraught emotions.

Ask Yourself

  1. How do I respond to change?
  2. Do I act on God’s Word or merely react to the situation?
  3. After the initial shock, am I willing to make a transition mentally and emotionally?

Circumstance #2: Waiting

If you have not developed patience, then having to wait may bring out the worst in you. At least that was the case with me until I finally realized my emotional reactions were not making things go any faster. 

We would all like to be patient, but we don’t want to develop patience because that means behaving well while we are not getting what we want. And that’s hard!

The Road to Peacefulness

The more we want something, the more our emotions will act up if we do not get it. Common sense tells us it is rather foolish to get into a rage over a parking space or other simple things people tend to get upset about. As you develop patience, don’t merely think about how hard and frustrating it is, think about how peaceful you will be when waiting never bothers you (see James 1:4).

Ask Yourself

  1. How do I behave when I have to wait?
  2. What situations are difficult for me?
  3. How do I act when I’m working with someone who is really slow?
  4. How do I act if someone takes the parking space I’ve been waiting for?
  5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do I handle myself when things don’t go my way?

Circumstance #3: Difficult People

No one likes being around difficult people. I think there are a lot of people in the world like that today, largely because of the stressful lives most of them have. People are trying to do too much in too little time and have more responsibility than they can realistically handle. 

When someone is rude to me, I can feel my emotions rise up and then move out, wanting me to follow them. That’s when I know I need to take action. I have to remember that the person being rude probably has a lot of problems. She may not even realize how she sounds.

Working with the Holy Spirit

I certainly remember lots of times in my life when people asked me why I was being so harsh. I didn’t realize that I was. I just had a lot going on and felt pressured, so the pressure came through in harsh voice tones. That didn’t excuse my bad behavior, but it was the root of the problem. 

I am very thankful I know the Word of God and have Him in my life to help and comfort me. But a lot of difficult people don’t have that. I have had to work very hard with the Holy Spirit for the ability to act on God’s Word when people are rude…instead of merely reacting with a behavior that matches or tops theirs. 

Jesus teaches us how to respond to those who treat us well and those who do not (see Luke 6:32–35).

If you are in a situation that requires you to be with one of these hard-to-get-along-with people every day, I urge you to pray for them instead of reacting emotionally to them. Our prayers open a door for God to work through.

Ask Yourself

  1. How do I react to people who are rude?
  2. Do I respond in love as the Word says we should, or do I join them in their ungodly behavior?
  3. Will I act on the Word of God and love them for His sake? Or will I react emotionally, perhaps acting worse than they act?
  4. Have I ever let a rude person ruin my day?

Live Beyond Your Feelings

Feelings will come and go. We can’t escape them, but we can choose to live by God’s Word and not our feelings. Even when it doesn’t feel right, we can live with an incredible peace and joy. I encourage you to go through the questions again and search God’s Word in every circumstance you face. He will help you live beyond your feelings!

 
This article is taken from Joyce’s book, Living BeyondYour Feelings.

Embracing Change

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”  (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)
 
Change is one of the most difficult things for people to face; however, change is inevitable. In fact, Mark Twain once said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” One reason people don’t like change is because they get comfortable with where they are in life. They get used to their friends, job or the place they live. And even if it’s not perfect, they accept it simply because it’s familiar. However, when we are not willing to change, we get stuck in life holding on to what God did in the past instead of growing and moving forward into what God wants to do in the future.

Today, I encourage you to be open to the new things God has in store for you. Always remember that just because God has blessed you where you are doesn’t mean you can just sit back and settle there. God wants to do something new in you and through you. He wants to see you grow, prosper and flourish. Get ready and keep your heart focused on Him. Embrace change and see the blessing God has in store for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY  

Father God, I humbly come before You and thank You for all You’ve done in my life and all You will do in my future. I submit myself to You and choose to embrace change knowing that You always have good things in store in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen  
 

God!!!!! Im Lonely

There are times when I just feel low. When I feel as if no one around me is truly seeing me, and recognizing what I am going through. I imagine that if I died at that given moment, no one would care except for my immediate family.

I sure your reading this and thinking, “Wow!! What an emo post. ” But I sure that everyone has moments like this, when you just feel disconnected from the world around you.  When you think that everyone is treating or looking at you differently because of a wrong you committed.

Fortunately, a recent passage I read in devotion makes me hopeful. I will keep this passage in my memory bank for hard times.  The passage is from Deuteronomy 32:10, and highlights the fact that despite how horrible we are (or think we are) there is someone out there that loves us unconditionally and is always with us.
“In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye…”
~Deuteronomy 32:10 NIV

This text refers to Jacob, Jacob the deceiver; Jacob the con artist; Jacob the thief. A coward who decides to flee from the drama he orchestrated. Despite this, Jacob is someone God went looking for. In the desert where he hides, God comes to him and shields him from harm. In spite of all his crimes God still sees him as the apple of his eye.
After reading this passage, I compared myself to Jacob. I wanted to see the differences between us but then realized that there is no difference.  NOTHING….how many times do I envy someone for something I lack? How often do I do subtle things to bring others down to the level I feel they should be? (Yes, I am horrible)
However, through all this, God is reaching out for me. He is searching for me in the wasteland of my sinful, blemished life.  He is caring for me, shielding me from harm. Despite my nasty (selfish) character traits, God still sees me (and you) as the apple of his eye.
Post shared by Simpli Dawning

How to commit suicide…

One day the wife a friend of mine called to tell me that she was on the way to the hospital because my friend had collapsed at work.   

Earlier that day just before leaving for work he poured a bowl of cereal and went to the refrigerator for milk there was none.  He decides well it’s not that serious I’ll just add water.  He takes a couple of bites and sits the bowl on the counter.  After running back upstairs to grab his tie and briefcase he charges out the door.  He’s halfway out of the driveway before he realizes that he’d forgotten his cereal.  He pulls back into the garage, runs inside and grabs hs cup only to discover that a family of ants had beaten him to it.  “Argh!!!” he exclaims.  He slams the ingredients from the cup into the garbage disposal and flips the switch… it doesn’t work.  “Oh my god!!!”

He immediately calls his wife to ask whether she knew of this mechanical failure and she replies, “Yes.”

“Well, why didn’t you tell me about it?!” he yells.

“I didn’t think it was that serious, I was going to tell you today.”

“You didn’t think it was that serious?!  See, that’s what I’m talking about, you never take anything ‘that’ seriously.  You should have told me last night, I would’ve had someone out here to fix it!

“Look, what is your problem?  You never call me at work and when you do, this is what you call about?  I’m at work, I don’t have time for this. Bye! -click

This of course sends him into a complete tizzy.  He jumps back into the car and heads off to work fuming.  Traffic is horrible and the cereal episode only made arriving to work on time even more difficult. Once there he receives a phone call explaining that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer and they needed him to come down to see her.   Well, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  All of this was too much to handle and his mind/body broke down.  After receiving various sedatives and being monitored for a few hours he was released and told to take it easy for a few days and he’s now doing a lot better.  (true story.)

Now, my purpose for calling this one how to commit suicide is to bring attention to how we get to that point in the first place.  The trojan horse called stress is to blame in this case but the funny thing is, it only has as much power as YOU give to it.  Whether voluntary or involuntarily, your body will find a way to escape too much stress.  People that go through with the thought of committing this self-destruction typically do so because the ‘stress’ of life becomes too much to bear.  It’s actually more common than you think for people to have such thoughts but luckily not everyone continues down that path.

If you think about it, that’s what we spend the majority of our time doing…trying to avoid stress.  That’s what our heavens or after life promises are…no dying – stress, no sickness – stress, no disagreements – stress, and so on.  It even says on the tomb stones… rest in peace.

Well I’d like to ‘suggest’ to you that you don’t have to wait until death to experience peace.  If you’d like to have less stress in your life…wait for it….let it go!  Yeah, it’s that simple.  Stress is an unwelcome visitor in your home (body)…kick him out! (ha)  Seriously though, you only have what you’re holding on to…aren’t there more pleasant things in life that to hold than self-destruction?

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Post shared by Dehypnotize 

Painting The World With Ugliness…

Have you ever asked yourself  what are you doing to make the world better, to increase even one person’s happiness, to help one homeless person?

Most of us never even think about this fact, we walk around consumed in our own thoughts and lives so much so that we never see the terrible environment all around us. We see people being killed, being bullied, being lonely all because we don’t feel it’s worth our time to lend a hand, or even to look and open our eyes to the hurt and pain all around us.

We live in a world of no sense of society, no sense of responsibility, no sense of helping each other, people commit suicide simply because they are lonely and have no one to turn to.

Instead of painting the world with ugliness each and every single second, why dont we all try. If you have the chance to change someone’s life, why dont you take it?

Why dont we start painting the world with love, hope and  a rainbow of happiness??
Post courtesy of The World We Live In