Archives

Scripture Meditation

7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. (1 Pet 4:7 NKJV)
There are many scriptures that will back up a praying life style such as this one: 13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. (1 John 5:13-15 – NLT)
Ever tried to have a relationship with someone you never talk with?  That’s never worked for me. How about for you?

Prayer: 
LORD, with so many things demanding my time every day, I fail to make time to pray as I should. Help me quiet the shouts for attention in my mind and do what I must do to maintain our relationship. I want a strong, dynamic relationship with You, and it begins with prayer. You are available, so it is up to me. Help me make it happen. 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.

What Love is All About

When you see someone doing something differently from the way you would do it, how do you respond? Do you try to “help” them by offering your advice? What about with your close family? Do you try to correct them when you know of a better way or disagree with their methods?

Oftentimes, we don’t even realize we are doing this because we genuinely care about the people in our lives and want to offer them the wisdom that we’ve learned over the years. Unfortunately, more often than not, that unsolicited advice actually drives a wedge in relationships. I see this all the time between husbands and wives, parents and children, and even close friends. Most people already know the areas they need to work on. They don’t need to have someone point out their shortcomings.

When you set out to “fix” someone, what you’re really saying is “you’re not good enough the way you are, so I am going to fix you.” But that’s not what they need. What people need is to know that they are loved unconditionally. They need to know they are approved and accepted even when they miss the mark on occasion. People want to know that they can count on your love and support no matter what happens. If you find that you are correcting or “teaching” someone in every conversation, you probably need to adjust your approach so that you don’t miss the true riches of the relationship.

The truth is we’ve all been guilty of trying to fix, teach or correct someone else. My own mother used to tell me, “If I could open up your head and pour my knowledge into it, I would.” But she couldn’t, and neither can I for my children or anyone else…and neither can you! Our job on this earth is not to fix everyone but to love and support them and give them the grace to grow.

Today, I encourage you to evaluate how you approach your relationships. Begin by acknowledging the good in the people in your life. Tell them how proud you are of them and how they bring joy to your heart. Use your words to strengthen others and deposit life into them. Give people room to grow because empowering others is what love is all about.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins(1 Peter 4:8, NIV).

6 Biblical Lessons on Relationships

After 35 years in ministry and 30 years of marriage to Serita Jakes, Bishop T.D. Jakes has outlined key life lessons learned from these two great institutions.

The following are 6 sample “Lessons from the Heart”  excerpted from “The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God.”

1. Overcoming Our Differences in Relationships.
The art of relationships requires that a man who is very different from his woman finds common ground with her and vice versa. We are meant to balance each other by attracting people whose strengths may be our weaknesses. Together as a result of our differences and unique distinctions, we complement each other. Understanding only comes when you stand under a real desire to know, love, and comprehend the other person, embracing the uniqueness of who they are.
2. Healthy Relationships Require Emotional and Spiritual Freedom.
You often won’t know what you have, let alone need, in your life until you clear the mental and emotional room to experience the here and now. We don’t have to stay buried under the past or cycles of mistakes, even though it may seem insurmountable. You can move on with your life. You have to keep your mental and emotional house clean and in order. Praying, journaling, mediation, and exercise are common ways for you to be sure your emotional issues of the past aren’t seeping into your current relationships.
3. It Takes Courage to Really Love Someone.
Deciding to love gets harder as you get older. It’s more and more difficult to fall in love because your “faller” gets broken. We’ve all had relationships that didn’t work out for one reason or another. The loss of a relationship can be a traumatic experience and can affect us in our lives for months and sometimes for years. You need to understand what role you played in the relationship’s demise, and work to come to peace with your partner’s behavior as well as your own. No matter what has happened to you, the only hope of a healthy future relationship is to let go of the past.
4. Healthy Compromise in Relationships.
Negotiating win-win possibilities in relationships often means seeing things through the eyes of the others involved in the situation or problem. In most cases of healthy compromise, both parties feel they are “right.” Healthy compromise is the hallmark of healthy relationships. The Lord’s peace often results when each side comes close to His viewpoint, His perfect plan for both parties. We cannot remain so entrenched in our view that we cannot change or adapt, and we must know when not to compromise too far.
5. Safeguarding Your Relationships.
In order to maximize your life and relationships, you have to minimize your load. You must focus on what’s important when it comes to your relationships. Lightening your load means knowing when to release things. Most of don’t realize that the key to release ourselves is within our own hands. You can move ahead and conserve your strength for things that count, things you can change, things you can control. Have the wisdom to see the importance of giving you all to your relationships today!
6. Evaluate Who You Are.
When you see yourself as valuable enough to deserve love and attention from the other person, you form a boundary that you will not compromise. A little self-esteem goes a long way in garnering the courage to ask and answer questions that reveal who you really are and what you really want. Once you look realistically at who you really are and what you desire in a healthy relationship, you are ready to enter into the research that will lead to sound decisions.

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 

I Don’t Love my Lover

If you are in a relationship or an engagement and  you argue more than you laugh, you need to second guess your decision of moving into a life long future with this person. Maybe the problem is you, maybe the problem is them, maybe it’s both of you! (Which is the case most of the time because lots of us came from unhealthy backgrounds). But here’s what you should not do, you should not get married with the option of divorce in your back pocket. When you marry it’s supposed to be for life! So you really need to decide before hand that the person you are with and their flaws and issues is something that you can bear for the rest of your days. Maybe down the line they will grow and change for the better, but there is always the possibility that they don’t.  We say we love our lovers all the time but do we really? Love doesn’t give up! (unless the have sex with someone!) Love, true love inside of a marriage says “We are going to work it out, no matter what.” So are you ready for all of that with your partner? If not , do yourselves a favor and walk away before you say I do, because divorce should not be your get away option, it’s not what God intended.

 
LOVE
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Posted by  

A Brutally Honest Letter to God

A young lady I have a blogging friendship with posted this and I found it so touching and felt so many may be able to relate in one way or another that I had to share. All of her post are so honestly revealing so if you get a chance check out her blog but for now I share this post:

My Brutally Honest Open Letter to God

written by Paramourinwaiting

Dear God,

I don’t know how to address you, especially after all this time. I can’t imagine you this bearded old man (or woman) in the sky. I can’t imagine you perched in pages of someone’s testament. I can’t imagine you in a deep and unfamiliar voice that boldly sprouts from nowhere. So I write to you instead. My mother used to write you. She never knew this but as a child, I used to read her letters to you in her Bible. I know that was a violation of privacy but I’ve always been in love with words penned on pages. They tend to be more candid—or at least in our case. Her letters were uplifting and full of wonder; other broke my heart. Her faith quivered but I could tell that it was still there. I probably also thought that I could understand you more through her.

My parents always spoke of religion and you interchangeably but I could never fully embrace it. There seemed to be so many holes in religion and I feared coming off as the spawn of the devil if I dared to ask. A part of resented them for making me believe in notions that I did not seem to cling to. They seem so stifling and I imagined you as free and uninhibited as my thoughts. I’ve seen you in contagious laughs and spellbinding smiles of children, in kind eyes, in good thoughts and deeds, in poetry, in music, in art, in tears, in happiness, in every “I love you”, in every changing season—somewhere in the stillness swirling furiously and touching everything and everyone that crossed your path.

I guess you’ve noticed that we haven’t talked much in a while. I think I brushed off nearly all of your presence after you did not come when I needed you the most—as I was being raped. I began to see you differently. But I did talk to you sporadically—mostly as a promiscuous teen begging not to become pregnant. I promised that I would change my ways if you just granted this one prayer. That one prayer morphed into several more. It was our recurring storyline. I eventually realized that perhaps this wasn’t the type of prayer that you really wanted to hear. I mainly saw you as the modern day Plan B pill. I did not take you seriously. I saw you as a convenience and wondered if I somehow became a nuisance—an ungrateful child tugging on you.

When my sanity fluctuated, I asked you why I was born. I never hesitated to let you know how much I hated fragments of myself and life. After a couple of half-hearted suicide attempts as a teen, I contemplated a nonexistence throughout my entire adulthood. My guilt, self-destructive behaviors, and the lack of courage were the driving forces that kept me here (or so I thought). I wanted to prove to you that you weren’t as awesome as others pegged you out to be. I decided to disregard you. I rarely thanked you. I infrequently acknowledged you. I silently mocked those who were delirious in their love for you. You were that elephant in the room that I made sure I always tiptoed around in the dark to avoid. They say elephants never forget; neither did I no matter how hard I tried.

I was humiliated. I knew if I faced you, I would reek of disappointment. Disappointment would ooze from my pores and flood my entire being. I could picture the literal disgust on your figurative face. I could imagine you holding your nose and avoiding all eye contact. I had to spare myself from further embarrassment. I’m so filthy and can’t possibly see myself in you. Sure, I have some noble qualities but not too much of me is pure—especially my intentions. I am always faltering. I can’t even trust myself sometimes. You’ve tried to reach me through others. I’ve watched their lips move but wasn’t open to the vessel of truths that cascaded from them. You felt inaccessible to me. It’s like you’re in the VIP section and I’m on the outside watching you fulfill others because I was not properly dressed to grace your presence. It’s like you’re flying first class and I achingly peer through the curtains to see others licking their lips from the champagne of your being. I feel as though I cannot afford you. I feel spiritually bankrupted. I feel snubbed. Maybe I’m the one who has been snubbing you this entire time and for that I am sorry.

I am finding my way back to you. I’ve been away for far too long. Please forgive me for resenting you all these years. Please help me to forgive myself. Help me heal so I can forgive others. Help my find purpose. Help me to love myself. Help me to live my life without fear because I feel so consumed by it. Help me see the splendor of life. Save me from my destructive behaviors and thoughts. Lift me up because I’m tired of falling apart at the seams. I’m tired of doing this without you. I’ve treated you and myself with reckless abandon. I need help to make it up to the both of us. Thank you for the things that you’ve already done for me that I have so blatantly ignored. I will be more appreciative and receptive towards you.

With Love,

Nisha