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HELP…..I can’t see!

Why is everyone else so messed up!  Why can’t they get it together? Why can’t they live right, and love right; speak right and act right? Why can’t they see how they are falling apart and falling short? Why?

We are so quick to see the faults in others, which is just a distraction from the enemy to keep us from seeing the faults in ourselves. If we do not take time to examine ourselves and deal with our own shortcomings and sin, we will be sure to take a great fall! The Word says to ‘examine yourselves.’

Just for today ask God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Use this day to take your eyes off of everyone else, and put them on yourself! You may find that it is not glasses that you need, but only to take the big plank out of your eye! (I’m so busy looking at you, I can’t see myself).

“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”  Luke 6:42 NKJV

“Judge not and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you shall not be condemned, Forgive and you shall be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

Love somebody today who doesn’t love you; doesn’t care about you; won’t repay you, can’t repay you and doesn’t want to repay you…then you will be treating them the way God treated you…

A Bondservant of Christ,  Rev Toni-Brooke Brown, Pastor
God’s Storehouse
18301 John R, Detroit MI 48203
313 867-1234
www.Gods-Storehouse.org  / Twitter.com/revtonibrown
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Renewing Your Mind For Relationships

One of the ways that I healed from an emotional unhealthy mindset was listening to messages and mini sermons several days throughout the week. Sunday is a great blessing and all, but when it came to feeding my spirit and renewing my mind I needed more.

My favorite place to go on-line and get information that pertained to me and my personal issues and situations was OnePlace.com. There are so many different ministers there and so many different ways to listen, learn, and grow. You can search through the archives and find topics that relate to what you are going through at any given moment, that is what I did and still do til this day. It’s so helpful! Especially when your Pastor doesn’t talk much about Parenting, Friendship, or Marriage. Or it may just be that you are having some major issues with your in-laws and for that whole month at church you guys are reading the book of Revelation.
With all that being said, I’ve listed a few places that I think can be helpful to anyone if they open up and allow it.
With Dennis Rainey you get something like a teaching interview.
With June Hunt you get something like a counseling session.
And with James McDonald you get brief 30 minute sermonets that bless your soul!
It’s doesn’t do us any good to come up with excuses like “I don’t have time” because the messages can be downloaded and listened to in your car while you are driving or on your iPhone or Pod while you ride the bus, work out, get your nails, hair and toes done. We find time to watch our favorite T.V. Shows, go to the movies and out to eat, I’m sure we can find the time to feed our souls. It’s when you are really hungry for change that you will eat.
Most of the times people find a bunch of other unhealthy people to talk to and they validate what they are feeling and they think they are ok. But if people lie to you or just can’t give you the truth because they themselves don’t know it, you can’t grow as an individual.
It takes a lot to find a great person to hook up with forever when you are jacked up yourself. Inside you say “I want someone who will treat me good, not beat or cheat. Provide, protect, love, respect, submit, honor,” and on and on the list goes. But if you are emotionally damaged and refuse to admit and then take actions to change, more than likely you won’t attract that type of person.
Recognize, realize, and then renew!

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.

Guidelines from God :)

Effective Immediately, please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. Please, follow these 10 guidelines:

1. QUIT WORRYING:
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST:
Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can’t help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all… God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

3. TRUST ME:
Once you’ve given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster For My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE:
Don’t wake up one morning and say, “Well, I’m feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here.” Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It’s simple. You gave Me your burdens and I’m taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don’t you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME:
I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I’m in control. But there’s one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don’t forget to talk to Me – OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH:
I see a lot of things from up here that you can’t see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I’m doing. Trust Me; you wouldn’t want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part – How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE:
You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven’t heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT:
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND:
Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF:
As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only — to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to me. Don’t ever forget…..

– GOD

Post shared via SweetLife15’s Blog

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

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

 

What You Can Learn from Pain

Author Michelle McKinney Hammond shares how to get past disappointment by listening to your pain

I recall being so in love with a man once I could hardly stand it. The trouble was that he wasn’t in love with me. I played games with him and me. Every bit of attention he gave me, no matter how small, I took as a sign that he had feelings for me. My friends tried to rein in my attitude and behavior as they gently told me the truth, but to no avail. I didn’t want to hear it. I refused to hear it. I wanted what I wanted.

Yes, he thought I was nice, but he didn’t love me. He didn’t want me that way. I couldn’t receive or accept this. As time went by and waiting for him to realize what I already believed went past my heart’s deadline, the pain finally forced me to confront him. “Are you ever going to marry me?” I asked. Without blinking or hesitating, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “No, Michelle. I am never going to marry you.”

My entire world crumpled before my eyes. The pain was excruciating. I wanted to die. And yet, deep down inside, I had already known the truth. I’d just refused to face it.

The truth can hurt. It can cut deep, slicing our strength into shreds and threatening to chop our hearts into little bits. Even though we might not realize it, this is when we are able to really breathe. Even if we don’t like the truth, it still will set us free…free to move on. Denial is bondage. We can’t move forward if we’re stuck in “where we wish we were.” We need to acknowledge fully where we are and then move past it. Accept the pain as the attention getter it is. Let it burn going down, removing anything that impairs our vision from seeing the situation as God sees it. Although it hurts, it’s a “good” hurt because it is helping us grow and embrace change.

Pain is best treated as a friend. I remind myself of this often. God gave us the ability to feel pain because it lets us know there’s a problem, and it forces us to deal with what is wrong or what we’ve buried, overlooked, or refused to surrender to God. When we stop and listen to the hurt, we uncover secrets our deceptive hearts may have believed or perpetrated. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else.”

God stands patiently, waiting for us to open our hands to show Him our hearts so He can do what He does best—pour on the oil of love and forgiveness and heal us. So often He says, “Give me your pain,” and we reply, “What pain? I don’t have any pain.” Our denial keeps us slaves to the very thing we want to be rescued from. We don’t want to go there because change might be required. You see, admission or exposure of the truth bears great responsibility.

“What are you going to do about it?” That’s the next question I don’t like to hear. I say, “I don’t like how this relationship is going.” And God says, “What are you going to do about it?” We want to check out the alternatives for getting the life, the love, the circumstances we want before giving up what we have. But the walk of faith doesn’t always expose those options until we face the truth and surrender to the will of God.
Sometimes God simply says, “I know the plans I have for you.”

And we say, “What plans might those be exactly? I’d like to know if it’s going to be better than what I’ve been clinging to. Even though I don’t like it, at least I know what it is.”
And God says, “I have plans for you—for good and not for evil.”

And we reply, “Well, that’s just too vague, God. Can you be more specific?”

And the conversation continues until our pain forces us to scream the truth: “My choices and decisions aren’t working!” There we’ve finally said it. When we turn to God and open our tear-stained hands and say, “God, look at the mess I’ve made,” He gently extricates what we’re holding and makes it right. That’s all God wants. For us to be honest with Him and with ourselves. “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow’” (Isaiah 1:18). Just in case we are afraid of the work it’s going to take to fix our situation, God offers to do the hardest part for us. He cleanses us and then empowers and encourages us to cooperate with His restoration plan.

Acknowledging the truth about where we are and where we’d like to be is the beginning of the route to freedom. Acknowledging both of these illuminates the path to get to the other side of our situations. The truth is our guide, noting where we want to go, where we are now, and calculating the best route to arrive at our desired destinations. But it can’t do that without first knowing where we are. When we grow weary of our location personally, spiritually, financially, professionally, or emotionally, we can let our exhaustion give way to the truth instead of making excuses for staying where we are. Don’t wait until life stares you in the eyes and asks for what you don’t have. Take a deep breath, exhale, and talk to God today…right now. Tell Him the truth and ask for His help.
Reflections
What is the truth about your current situation?

Are you having difficulty embracing or confessing this truth?
What needs to happen so you will face the truth and do something different this time?

What coping strategies are no longer working for you?

What are you going to do about that?