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Healing from Shame

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God wants us to have a right understanding of self. When we let Him heal us, He gives us that understanding. Those who know me and my testimony are aware of my past abusive relationships. There were times that some would say to me, “No one can make you feel a certain way, it is up to you if you choose to feel ashamed or hurt or guilty.” To a point that may be true, but when you share your life with someone who repeatedly says abusive things to you and/or repeatedly physically abuses you, you will start to believe those things are true and that you deserve to be treated that way. When we decide that we do not deserve that treatment, and stick close to “the one who is closer than a brother,” and His Word, He will bring us up out of those relationships and lies that we end up believing about ourselves. God does not want us to be hurt by others and I do not believe He wants us to stay in those kinds of relationships.

Guilt is a God-given emotion that takes place when our mistakes and faults are revealed in our own minds or publicly exposed. It may be a personal reminder of our own limitations and sinfulness.

Shame, however, says that the individual person is bad, of no value, or unworthy to exist–that we are hopelessly abnormal, unlovable, of no value, and worthless. Shame begins externally with a subtle implication through silence and neglect or with verbal condemnation through words of abuse. When such messages are repeated often enough, whether through words or actions, they become internalized into a false belief about ourselves: “I must be bad to deserve such terrible treatment.” This becomes the heart and soul of our identity and the beginning of thousands of future, wrong choices for the one who is suffering from shame.

We can begin to heal from our shame when we identify and confess the lies that we have believed about ourselves. Then we must start to replace those lies from satan with God’s Biblical truths. Truths about who God is and who we are as His beloved children. We are of immeasurable worth in God’s eyes, righteous through the blood and Jesus and, therefore, without condemnation.

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 8:31-39 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

II Corinthians 5:17, 21 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new…For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Sometimes when we have been victimized over time, we become so shame-filled that we are emotionally bound by that shame, even though we may think that we mentally understand our worth in God’s eyes. Or, if we have actually committed shameful acts, a deep sense of shame may remain even after confession and repentance. Those acts, by others and/or by ourselves, must be brought into the presence of Jesus, and perhaps more than just one time. We need to remember that we suffered the abuse over a period of time, and it will not just go away suddenly. Ultimately, only God brings full emotional cleansing and freedom from such bondage.

I know that I would not be where I am in my walk with Jesus today had I not made the decision to leave the abuse relationship and cling to the Lord. There truly is a light at the end of the tunnel if we only trust Him.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2019 in God's Love

 

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In the Hollow of Thy Hand

Many who know me know that my greatest gift from the Lord is His calling me to be the prayer warrior that I am today. To me it is a great honor and privilege to spend time in conversation with my Master, lifting others up to Him. That He would even consider a sinner such as I to come into His presence is a mystery to me, but while I am there those thoughts vanish as I attempt to lay my worries and concerns at His feet. I have learned from the storms God has allowed in my own life that the prayers of others have been a reason for the peace and comfort I have experienced in the hollow of His hands.

In that quiet, prayerful time this morning several dear sisters in the Lord came to mind, the first being my Pastor’s wife. She was paralyzed in a bad car accident 3 years ago yesterday. I can’t help but think about how hard it must be for her since this accident. Just a young woman in her 30’s with 4 young children. My heart aches for her at the thought of how very drastically every area of her life has changed since that horrible accident. Yet, she is a wonderful example to others as she gets up every day and continues on in her work for the Lord. I look at myself and wonder if I would be able to stay so strong in the Lord if I were faced with the trials she has faced and will face to the end of each day. I suppose it is true what they say that “We don’t really know how we would react in a certain situation unless it actually happened to us.” I believe that God places an empathy for others on our hearts when these things happen. I continue to pray and ask my Lord to heal this precious sister and let her walk again, but I can’t help but wonder how would I become if I were in her shoes. Would I keep on keeping on like she does, staying in church and serving our Lord when many of us would give in and say, “No, I can’t today. I just don’t feel like it.” Perhaps she knows that we truly do gain strength in times of trial when we choose to stay close to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We so need the Godly support that they have to offer. I wonder if she knows the huge difference her example has made to so many.

Another sweet sister who was laid on my heart this morning recently had her 30-year-old son go to be with Jesus through a tragic accident. I cannot even imagine what she faces each day as she awakes and realizes that she will not be hearing from her sweet boy, or by chance run into him in her travels around town. Yes, she must take some comfort in knowing that she will join him with Jesus one day, but until then, there is a great storm to get through here in our world. And again, here is a Godly woman who continues on sharing Jesus as she visits with others who have visited our church, encouraging them to know God and live for Him. I have a young son, and as I have tried to put myself in her shoes, the hurt in my heart just thinking about it is too great for me to stay there for any amount of time. I have a sweet momma and daddy in Heaven now, and of course several other family members, and two best friends over the past several years who have also went to be with Jesus. The thought that Heaven is indeed looking sweeter to me each year that God gives me on this earth comes to my mind more and more. So, I know that pain of losing a loved one, but there is something so very different about the thought of having to say good bye to a child I have raised and has been a part of my life for many years, unimaginable. That is just not the natural order of things. Oh well, I digress, as usual in these things, but my point is that I feel so very blessed to call this lady my dear friend. What a great example she is to me as I watch her stay close with God as she goes through this storm.

What a great example and encouragement these women and others like them are to so many of us, as we watch them trusting in God’s healing, in His time, as they lean on Him “Til the Storm Passes By.” They know that The Master is Nigh! None of us can get through this life’s storms without Him.

The song “Til the Storm Passes By” was the song for today in my morning devotion. How very fitting for each and every one of us.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Got Problems? Seek God’s Solutions!

You say, “What do you mean, Got problems?! Of course I’ve got problems. Don’t we all?” Well I guess it’s all in our perspective. Sometimes what we see as problems are just God’s way of bringing us through an experience to teach us to be more like Him. I am understanding more and more as my days go by, that if God is allowing a challenge in my life, it is because I need to learn something about Him and therefore, I am more able to become more like Him, and be more able to help others in their need. I can crawl within myself and have a pity party or I can ask, “What are you trying to teach me today Lord?” If we are truly saved by the Blood of Jesus, we will see as we mature that life is full of lessons to draw us nigh to Him. We can wallow in self-pity and never mature in our Walk, or we can seek God and ask Him what His solutions to these problems are.

The first step in overcoming problems, whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual, is to admit to ourselves that we are in need and that we desire a change. Jesus asked the man who had been lying by the Bethesda pool for 38 years a very important question: “Wilt thou be made whole?” In other words, “Do you care enough about your problem to do something about it–even if it requires on your part some action, effort, sacrifice, or even suffering?”

As is typical of so many in need, this man answered the Lord with self-pity. When Jesus sees us in need of help and He sends a willing person to help, do we play the martyr role? “There is no hope for me. Nobody loves me.” The person who clings to this attitude is unlikely to experience healing.

Because Jesus is gracious and He knows our deepest desires, He often cuts through our weeping and self-martyrdom and puts us to the test. “Get up,” He says. “Take your problem and move on. Do not wait for other people to pity you. Get up.”

If we are in need of a touch from the Lord, we must ask ourselves if we are so eager to be changed that we are willing to do something about our situation. When we let God know we are obedient to His will and we are eager to do whatever it takes for us to be whole, He will send Jesus in the form of a person, a verse from His Word, or a new thought in our minds. We must act upon what God tells us to do. He made us, and He knows how to fix precisely what is broken within us.

Finally, when we feel God’s power bring about positive changes in our lives, we must not let doubters convince us that these changes are only coincidental. We must walk firmly away, as did the man with his mat under his arm, and simply say, “Jesus healed me.”

John 5:1-15 “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.”

 

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2016 in God's Love

 

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Each Thanksgiving is Sweeter than the One Before!

My family and I were very blessed to share a fun-filled Thanksgiving Day of Monopoly and movies with a couple of young military men from our church this year. They would say we blessed them, but I see it the other way around. 😉 Ronnie made his scrumptious Lasagna, and of course we had rolls, green bean casserole, and pies. The guys were very sweet when I was overcome with emotion as I took my turn thanking God for His healing hand in my life this year. In October I was diagnosed with a very scary health issue and scheduled for a test on the 16th of this month, to allow time for the “episode” to subside. The test would show us what stage it was in and which direction we would need to go to treat it. I had four weeks to wait for the procedure, and believe me, I went through many different phases of emotions and thoughts during that time.

Being who I am, my first reaction was one of anger. I did go to the Lord asking, “Really Lord?! I finally understand what it means to totally turn my life over to You, and desire to serve You more each day, and now You say I am done? You don’t need me any more?” (Maybe I did not turn my life over to Him as much as I thought I had, right?) I do believe it is okay with God for us to interact with Him that way. Now, I am not saying we ought to disrespect Him or curse Him in any way, but I truly believe He wants to hear from us concerning all things, especially things like this. He did create us for His good pleasure, and I think that means that it pleases Him when we sincerely communicate our feelings to Him. I thought about how Jacob wrestled with God and how Hezekiah asked God for 15 more years of life and God granted his request. I remembered how Job spoke with God when satan was allowed to “test” him. (It just so happened that we started in the Book of Job at church during this time; God’s timing is indeed perfect. I tell you, I felt our God speaking directly to me as I read His response to Job.)

Then there was a time of sadness and reflection on everything that God has ever allowed to happen to me, good and bad, which brought much understanding and seeing that God’s hand was in it all along. In the midst of these emotions, I experienced a Grace that I believe came from my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ’s prayers pleading with God to heal me. I finally was able to say, “Thank you Lord for what you are teaching me through this.” My prayer is that I will keep growing in Him and come to the point where I will honestly and earnestly say thank you before responding in anger and mistrust.

I tear up now as I am so very thankful to say that after the test, my doctor said, “It looks like it has gone away.” (This is unheard of medically speaking, but as children of a great an awesome God, we are not surprised.) Of course you can guess my immediate response, “Praise the Lord!” (Well, there is a slight condition, but nothing compared to what they initially said. Maybe just enough of an issue to remind me of what God has done for me.) I believe God is still moving this verse from my head to my heart: Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I thank thee Lord for they mercy and thy Grace that you continue to bless me with. Guess You are not done with me yet! 🙂

I can truly say I  am closer to understanding the meaning of the saying and the promise from God’s Word “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength!” When we can say, “Thank you Lord. I know You are in control and You are allowing this for Your purpose and for Your Glory,” we do indeed experience joy that can only come from YAHWEH. Nehemiah 8:10.

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2015 in God's Love, Uncategorized

 

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How to Endure Suffering No. 4

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Wrong Way No. 4 – Decide the Limits to Your Own Endurance

God’s Way – Know that God sets and knows your limits – 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Okay, so I am wondering, “What does deciding the limits to my own endurance have to do with being tempted to sin?” I looked up the usage of the word temptation in this verse in my Strong’s Concordance to make sure I am understanding its meaning correctly. It is derived from the Greek word peirasmos, which means “of trial definitely designed to lead to wrong doing.” It is not the temptation that is sin, it becomes sin when the temptation is put into action.

I believe that God is showing me something very specific here. I know that I have bad days and good days, and just when I think maybe I am doing better, boom! Down I go again feeling the anger at what my Momma had to go through, how she fought so hard, and she died anyway. Although I would never do anything to take my own life, I must admit to feelings that have me crying out to God some times, “Please just take me Home!”

These kinds of thoughts are of satan and they are a temptation to take things into my own hands instead of trusting my Heavenly Father. He truly does know me better than I know myself, and He is the only one who knows how long this season needs to last to bring me nearer to Him. I take comfort in His promise – He will not suffer me to be tempted above that which I am able, and He will also make a way for me to escape the temptation so that I am able to bear it.

Here again is where our brothers and sisters in Christ can be a tremendous help. It might be a Christian (sister for women and brother for men) whom we know we can trust with utmost confidence. We may just need someone to show us the love of Jesus by holding us while we cry, share encouraging words or sing praising hymns to guide our thoughts back to Jesus. I am learning that when I do not ‘feel’ like praising, that is the best time to push through the pain and do it anyway. It becomes easier as I press on.

Depending upon the type of suffering we are enduring and how intense it becomes, some of us may need the aid of a counselor. If that be the case, I strongly suggest a strong, Biblical-based Christian counselor such as your church pastor or assistant pastor. The world’s psychology tends to keep us stuck in our pain, rather than healing us. Too many spend years, and in some cases most of their lives trying to get better in a psychiatrist’s office. If it takes years, then it is not working. God is the only one who can truly heal our crushed spirits.

I like how Nancy Missler puts it in her study “Be Ye Transformed” Understanding God’s Truth. “One of the reasons why I believe psychology can be so dangerous is that it’s really another gospel. It leads us to the wrong goal–being conformed to the world’s image, and not Christ’s. Psychology can be dangerous because it causes confusion and it really promotes a lie. It promises to heal us, to remove strongholds from us, to help our relationships, and to help us progress in our Christian walk. The truth is, however, psychology doesn’t heal us, it doesn’t remove strongholds, but often strengthens them, it doesn’t improve relationships, and it doesn’t help us in our Christian walk. In fact, sometimes we even end up even worse off than when we started.” She then quotes from letters she received that actually validate her words.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in God's Love

 

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Jesus Included Women in His Ministry

Luke 8:1 – 3 “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”

Although I love every Gospel in God’s word, I especially love reading and continuously learning from the book of Luke. Being a detail-oriented person myself, I notice this characteristic in Luke the physician, and I am not surprised at all that God chose to inspire him to pen Books in His Word.

Luke includes five events involving women that are not mentioned in the other Gospels. In doing this, he shows the special care that Jesus has for women, and how Jesus overcame the roadblocks women faced in His days and still does today. Men looked upon them as second-class citizens with hardly any of the rights that they had, and women most certainly were not allowed to learn from rabbis. Jesus, our rabbi, lifts women from the state of degradation and servitude to one of fellowship and service. He considers all people, men and women, as equal reflectors of God’s image and of great value to Him.

I find it interesting that God led Luke to include that “certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities,” traveled with Him, letting us know that Jesus did not look down his nose at these women. He considered them lost and dying souls who needed healing and salvation. But He did not just deliver them and say, “Well there ya go…” He allowed them to go with Him and get to know Him, and as a result they grew into strong, Godly women.

We read that Jesus delivered Mary Magdalene of seven demons. As I reflect on my past and where I was when Jesus found me, I believe that she and the other women felt that they owed Jesus a great debt of gratitude for the unconditional love, healing and deliverance that He freely gave them. I know that there would be nothing of this earth that could stop me from hanging out with such a profound teacher as the Son of God. I would feel honored and elated to do whatever possible to walk beside Him in His teaching journey, with a burning desire to know Him more.

They “ministered unto him of their substance.” This tells me that they were in a position to substantially support Jesus and His disciples in their work by providing food and lodging, as well as clothing for the group. They saw a need, had the resources to fulfill that need, and were happy to do so, much the same as we give to the mission field today.

These women disciples most probably did not preach as Jesus and the men did, but I feel certain that Jesus lovingly included them in His group of disciples. They were followers of Jesus who believed in and helped to spread His doctrine. How did they do this? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that where ever they went, there were throngs of women, suffering the same infirmities as they had, and crying out for help. They were able to reach out to those hurting souls and genuinely say, “I understand; Jesus helped me, He can help you…” in a way that the male disciples could not. I believe it was their God-given appointment to encourage, counsel, and instruct lost and wounded women.

God gives us all opportunities to do His work for the growth of His kingdom. It makes no difference to Him about our past once we have come to Him by placing our faith in Jesus. I have experienced the most healing in my life through others who have gone through the same kinds of trials as my own. I also find it very therapeutic for me to reach out and share what God has done in my life, with certain ones He leads me to.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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