Tag Archive | heart

Overcoming Fear

How good is it to know that there are others out there trying to process the same kinds of things that you are?.

I was chatting with a friend the other day. She asked a question that I have considered many times over.

What was the question you ask?

“How in the world do people who do not know Christ personally, manage in their lives when everything comes unglued?”

The truth is; they don’t.

They get addicted to things like drugs, alcohol or work; and engage in all sorts of behaviors that dull, numb, or otherwise cover up their fear, and pain, and sorrow,

Our conversation put me in mind of a blog post that I made on October 3, 2011; about fear and how we face it without coming unglued.

I share it with you here.

Rocking Chairs and Tornadoes

Oct3

With all the news as of late about natural disasters, it is really difficult to

“Be not afraid.” or “Fear not.”

Some events in our lives may make us feel like we are in those disasters, even though physically, we may not be.

You know what I mean don’t you?

Are there things going on in your life that have the potential to strike sorrow and fear into you?

If we compared these disasters, what would we find they have in common?

I never gave this question much thought until I heard Nate Berkus recount his experience  of being swept away in a tsunami.                       

In the water with him were telephone poles, barbed wire, parts of trees and people’s homes …. and people.                                                   

All these things were swirling around him and beating his body, all the while he was fighting for his very life.

Is that how you feel right now?

Is the debris of your life beating you while you are struggling to keep your head above it all?

Are sorrow and fear and loss threatening to engulf you?

Do your circumstances feel like they are beating the life out of you?

   Consider this picture.

Your life is a tornado.

Debris is flying everywhere and the mayhem of it all is causing you mass confusion.

You are swirling around with this mess and there is no exit.

This is not too much of a stretch, if you are like many of the people you know.

The fact is, you may recognize some of those folks in the havoc, right along with you!

              Now push the pause button, and consider a different picture.

The tornado is still there.

The debris is still flying and the mayhem is still circling you.

HOWEVER

The difference is that YOU aren’t anywhere to be found in the mass confusion.

YOU are firmly planted in the middle of the eye of that storm.

YOU are seated in a rocking chair.

                                                 What does that mean?????

Firmly seated in a rocking chair, in the eye of the storm?

The peace of your Father God is planted deeply in your heart.

YOUR heart is full of the knowledge that He is aware and in total control.

To be sure, there still may be sorrow and loss, but YOU do not have to live with fear.

How do I know this?

First off, I’ve had my fair share of living in fear. 

Secondly, the Word of God plainly states that if you know Him, if you receive what His Son Jesus did for you on the cross, then you need not be afraid.

I believe the word of God to be true. 

Every word.

So when He says not to be afraid (found over 80 times) in the Bible,

I choose to obey.

Notice I said “choose”.  Being afraid is not a sin.  

What you do with it could be.

You get to make that choice.

The only thing you are to fear is God.

That is a different fear.

Not spooky, creepy fear, but a fear that is defined as being in awe of Him.

Here’s the ask.  For today. 

Use the following verses in your circumstances.  Today.

We can truly only do it for today.

Choose to let God be in control of your chaos.  Today.

Choose to sit in that rocking chair and relax while He takes on everything that would set your heart to fear.  Today.

This is not an easy task.  The world we live in caters to fear.  Its goal is to make us afraid.

Just look at the nightly news.  (No wait, maybe you shouldn’t)

At any rate, giving your fear to God will get easier with practice.

Note: Remember ~ Doctors practice.  Lawyers practice. Athletes practice.

Why do they do so?  To get better at what they do.

I encourage you to practice not being afraid.

Choose to sit and rest on your rocker, while God handles things.

Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

John 14:27 (ESV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Matthew 10:31(ESV) Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 41:10  (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)  Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

This entry was posted on October 3, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged choicefearheartJesusmindNatural disasterrestthought lifeTornadoestruth. Bookmark the permalink.

The Ability to Forgive

Photo found on Pinterest. https://bit.ly/2TbZoZt May be subject to copyright

Join me today for a guest post from someone I’ve known for a long time.

With his permission I copied his article word for word from his Facebook page.

I’ve added my own comments to the end.

Enjoy.

People come into our lives for a reason; a season; or a lifetime.

He’s that kind of friend.

PSALMS OF LIFE·MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2019·

In this article I’m going to share with you 5 of the most important things that I’ve personally discovered about the ability to forgive THAT WORKS!
(CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO OPEN THE ARTICLE)

1. We do NOT have the natural ability to forgive anyone…no matter how hard we try! In fact, the more we try, the more weary we become. That does NOT mean we are helpless victims of other people’s foolishness. Because what we do have is the God-given ability to choose…to choose to forgive. That opens the door for the Holy Spirit to do in and through you the same thing that He did through Jesus on the Cross when He said, “Father, forgive them…” Jesus did not do that in His own strength. He made the choice, in the same way that you and I make the choice. That brings us to point number 2:

2. The Holy Spirit has the power that it takes to cause forgiveness to take place. More than anyone, He knows the value and power of forgiveness. He also knows our weaknesses, and is more than willing to fill our weakness with God’s strength. But, equally, the Holy Spirit will not (and cannot) make the choice for us. That’s our part. Making the choice when everything within our pain is shouting, “For what they did, they don’t deserve to be forgiven!” And, that leads us to our third point:

3. The other person (or people) don’t deserve it! The Lord’s prayer is, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” The person (or people) owe you a debt. Jesus prayed from the Cross, “Father forgive them…(why?)…because they don’t know what they are doing. If the devil knew what he was doing when Jesus was crucified, he would not have done it! Easily ninety-five percent of the time (or more) the person (or people) that inflicted pain upon you, did not really know what they were doing. We like to think they knew because it justifies our anger and bitterness. But, in truth, they are blind to themselves and their own actions. That doesn’t justify horrible behavior, but it sheds light on a human reality.

4. Forgiving isn’t the same as forgetting. We’ve probably all heard the saying, “To forgive is to forget.” If we can’t forget, it leads us to the conclusion that we must not have truly forgiven.” Forgiving is releasing a person from a debt they truly owe you. You make the choice to allow the Holy Spirit to move in forgiveness in and through you. It begins as an act of faith that you may or may not feel for awhile, but if you continue to make the choice and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work only He can do, the feelings begin to catch up.

Why do you supposed Jesus told His disciples to forgive 70 time 7 (490 times in one day)? It’s because of what the power that not forgiving does to destroy us emotionally and physically. Choosing to forgive and releasing the Holy Spirit then to do His work in and through us is one of the main ways to enter the river of God’s love. This may sound very strange, but the choice to forgive is one of the most positive selfish things you can do for yourself.

5. Finally, forgiving DOESN’T mean that you automatically allow the person or people to return into your life as if nothing has happened. You can forgive and still be wise. There needs to be a time of proof where you see a change in their attitudes and actions before you fully embrace them. That is another area where the Holy Spirit will help you with wisdom if you will ask Him for the wisdom.

I truly hope this helps! Learning to walk in the love as well as the wisdom of forgiveness is one of the most critical things we need to learn!

If this was beneficial, please respond with a “Like”! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments. If you have some wisdom that you’ve worked out in your own life, please comment. And “Share” this with someone you believe it may help!

Prayer: Father, In Jesus Name, I now make the choice to allow the Holy Spirit to work forgiveness because of what _____________ did/said to me. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

Pastor Gary Ellis

1. Choices. I never realized I even had a choice until I was in my mid twenties. That was a life giving revelation. It meant I no longer had to eat it just because it was put on my plate by someone. I get to fill my own plate.

2. My not forgiving them was poisoning me, while they were walking around “free”.

3. Wrong doers do wrong. That’s what they do. We can expect no different from them. Many times they have literally no idea just how wrong they are. They have no chip for that.

4. Unforgivness harbors bitterness, and causes sorrow and grief. Psalm 31:10 says “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.” Note that it takes away our strength. 5. It is not wise to forgive, and then to return immediately, this is so true. Give yourself time, and time, and time. After that, you can make a wise choice due to the actions you see. During that time, you are not holding on to poison, but allowing yourself to regain your strength.

Thanks for being here, and please join me again next time!

Two Fine Questions

For quite a while, from 2008 to about 2012, I studied and studied a manuscript from a conference I had gone to in Washington D.C.

This study was about our true identity. It was written and taught by Graham Cooke .

Graham maintains that our identity is made up of two things; Who we are on earth, and how we are know in heaven.

Our PERSONALITY – made up of who we are on earth;

and our PERSONA – made up of how we are known in heaven.

When you understand who God made you to be, or how you are known in heaven, it changes your perception of your circumstances.

When you understand who God made you to be; you can look at things a different way during awful conditions.

“Why is this happening to me?” and “Why this? Why now? Why me?” are questions we would ask from our personality.

They cause us to be victims.

“What does this mean?”

and

“What shall I do?”

These are questions we would ask from our persona.

They help us to be victorious!

Those have been the two most helpful questions to me in times of trouble.

These questions have changed me from a victim, to a victor!

I get to CHOOSE! I can ask myself these two questions and then take action. 

These questions may seem over simplified, but knowing what the words say, and actually putting them to work in your life are two different issues.

The level of difficulty is often disproportionately boosted.

I worked on installing those thoughts and ideas into my heart and mind for more than four years.

I still have to break out the lesson once in a while for a re-cap.

How in the world can you change the way you think?

I did it by reading scripture over and over about just who God says I am and what He thinks of me.

Here are some important things that God wants us to know. I hope you find them helpful.

  • The most important thing that God says about me (and He says it about you to by the way) is this;

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance:
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

  • We are not mistakes. We are not accidents. No matter what we’ve been told.

 Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  •  He made us just how we are, and He gave us purpose.  All different, and gloriously unique!

2 Samuel 22:20 (ESV)

He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because He delights in me.

  • He delights in us and wants to rescue us from the chaos of this world!

Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

  • He loves us so much. He rescues us from our wasteland. We are the apple of His eye!

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life; For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

  • He loves us ALL the same.

If we are born again in Him, then we can always know and remember that He is there for us; even if we are not in Him, we can know that He wants us to be.

I know I’m going long here, but I’d like to share just one more thing with you today.

The words from this song by Morgan Harper Nichols, states my position on what He thinks of me (and you) very well.

It reminds me of how He cared for me, even when I was unaware of Him.

The Storyteller

On a Sunday evening I’m
looking back over all the years
and where I’ve been
Looking at old photographs
I’m remembering
you were right there
and you have been ever since

With every page that turns
I see your faithfulness

Oh the mountain where I climbed
The valley where I fell
You were there all along
That’s the story I’ll tell
You brought the pieces together
Made me this storyteller
Now I know it is well, it is well
That’s the story I’ll tell

There were some nights that felt like
They would last forever
But you kept me breathing
You were with me right then
And all that you have done for me
I could never hold it in
So here’s to me telling this story
Over and over again

Oh the mountain where I climbed
The valley where I fell
You were there all along
That’s the…

Source: Musixmatch

Please join me again next time for part two.

Think Lovely Thoughts

In my adult life, I’ve taken some sense of value in my ability to stay calm in crazy situations.

Not EVERY time, but mostly.

What this has involved has been taking the time to quiet myself.

Time to rein my thoughts in and turn them around to a positive way of being;

I.e. To look on the bright side.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Well it seems that through the years of practice with this “Quietude”, there has been an unexpected side effect; that of not feeling the full spectrum of emotion.

I’ll start by saying that over the last several years, if you ask me how I’m doing; my answer would invariably be “Fine”.

My heart has been at peace. My mind has been at rest.

This answer is accurate and correct.

Recently though, something else has been happening.

Circumstances over the last several weeks have caused many emotions to come to the surface.

By that I mean, the tears are closer to the surface than I am accustomed to them being, and I’m perhaps a bit touchier than I like.

I’ve tried and tried to figure out what was happening.

This week, two things happened that seemed to open up a window for me to view the issue in a different way.

  1. I remembered a quote I had heard from Brene’ Brown;
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 155460-bren-brown-quote-we-cannot-selectively-numb-emotions-when-we-numb.jpg

And then;

  • I had lunch with my BFF. I was discussing the fact that I wasn’t processing this issue very well, and that I wasn’t really sure how to put it in words. Here’s what she said; (When they know all your secrets, they can get to the heart of things!)

“You have been doing well with your emotions. This one circumstance has been a grief to you for a long time. You cannot sustain yourself in grief mode for that long a period of time.”

(Basically, she was saying that I had been protecting myself and my emotions from burning themselves out.)

So now, things have changed.

 “You can grieve now. You can feel the emotions and get them healed.”

These words were like a bright shining light on my soul.

The window is open.

This is where Brene’s quote comes into play; there was definitely a time where numbing out the painful emotions was the right thing to do.

But now, I can go on to “un-numbing” the positive emotions!

I can feel the emotions I need to feel, and get on with things, get on with life.

I can feel some real joy.

                                                                        *********

Was all that time of “Peace and rest” wrong?

Was all that time of “Peace and rest” untrue?

Was it all counterfeit?

No, No, and No.

The peace and rest that I grew to know and love, was so very real.

I believe it was God’s way of protecting my mind, my heart and my health.

A lengthy sustained period of grief would have destroyed me from the inside out.

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

*********

So how about you, are your emotions in line with the times you’re in?

Are your thoughts running to the positive or the negative?

Are you thinking on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable?

“If you don’t like the thought you’re having; have another thought!”

Graham Cooke
Peter Pan

Psalms of Life

A long time friend of mine has begun a new project.

Now we have spoken very little, if any, about his topic.

Imagine my surprise when I began reading his words!

(Surprised, but not surprised. Our verbiage is even the same!)

If you have been here on my blog for any time at all,

you know how much value I put on having quiet time.

How much peace there is to having time to settle your heart and soul.

And how I also always delight if in some small way, I can help you to help yourself.

Even for just a moment; a little at a time.

So with Gary’s permission, I share his offerings with you now.

Psalms of Life

There is a quiet place
Far from the rapid pace
Where God can soothe my troubled mind

Those are the first words of a song that is not an original work of mine but have been on my heart a lot in recent days. I would like to suggest, my dear Psalms of Life friends, that dedicating yourself to a time of ‘stillness within’ is so valuable.

Establishing the habit for even a few minutes a day (especially at the beginning) is where the power lies. It is the ‘master key’ to a more fulfilling life.

Find a quiet place if only for a few minutes. Be silent, place your hand lightly on your heart. (Your mind focuses on where the touch is felt.) Then breathe slowly and deeply, listening to your breath while you choose to feel grateful.

Listening to your breath actually relates back to the fact that, in Hebrew, the deepest root meaning of Yahweh is ‘passionate breath.’

Practicing the simple habit of daily stillness with the Lord will transform your life. Studying and reading the Scriptures is good, but the art of practicing simple stillness is the most important foundation to build upon. Thanks for spreading these thoughts with 👍 ❤️ !

Gary Ellis
Psalms of Life

Remember to share your thoughts and comments.

We really love to hear your “Voice”.

Until next time.

Click here for more of Psalms of Life

What Was That You Said?

“If my kids ever turned out like you I’d kill myself”.

WHAT ON EARTH???

These words said to him by one set in charge of leading and guiding him, one whose job was to help him to find his potential, not destroy it.

I’ve heard many horror stories like Rusty’s. I am sure you have as well.

Perhaps, like me, you were the one on the other end of those destructive words.

It has been scientifically proven that the words we TELL OURSELVES, can have a crippling effect on how we develop.

Oh the words we say over our children!

About them. In front of them. In front of others.

When those words are SPOKEN over us, the effects can be deadly.

In John 6:63 (ESV) It says; It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

If the spirit speaks life, then it stands to reason that it is evil that speaks death to living beings.

The nasty things that are said to us burrow deeply into our hearts.

They become “Our truth”, even though that is not how God intended it to be for us.

The Harvard Business Review says five positives to one negative is a good ratio for success. 

Remember Mearle from Rusty’s story above?

In my case, I had two Mearles.

First was a pastor named Gary, the second an apostolic teacher named Sharon.

These two never gave up on me. They encouraged me into a much more life affirming thought life than I had ever had before.

They still encourage me today.

Now I am here with you, espousing a life of “Quietude” for your own general well being, helping you to overcome the awful things spoken over your life.

For Rusty, he created one eighty, to help others to overcome the effects of the negative words and declarations thrust upon them by others. Visit his site and see what a positive thought life can do!

Resources on the words we speak;

Watching the Words We Speak – Rev. Lynette Hagin

The Power of Spoken Words – HuffPost

The Power of the Words We Speak – Christina Fox – For the Family ,org

Thanks for reading.

Please feel free to comment or message me if you would like to add to this conversation!

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing Baby

All of these stones are real. Except one.
Can you tell the difference?

Counterfeit is great until you need the real thing.

We live in a world that is bright and shiny.

There is always something to grab our attentions, and distract us from the things that are in fact, real.

We can always find a bauble for our most current need; until we can’t.

Where do we turn when we find out that what we have been following, and holding on to, is in fact only a cheap trinket, a counterfeit of the real?

This place is both disheartening and frightening at the same time. How could we have been so fooled, so tricked, so easily duped?

It could be disheartening because, well, if we fell for something this time, then we could easily fall for it a next time.

It could be frightening because, many times these counterfeits can bring danger to us; physically, mentally or financially.

Our emotions run, and run, and stopping them takes a lot of hard work and determination.

One quality decision after another.

These are times that the counterfeit goes away, and the real comes alive; Real pain; Real stress; Real bitterness; Real sorrow.

If we could only know the REAL in advance!

Well I believe we can.

My source is the Holy Bible. Words I believe that come from God Himself.

In the day in which we live, we hear all the time that we must live our own truth.

Personally, I tried that. I lived my own truth for most of my life.

Some parts were just me, other parts were me trying to mix in a little of Him to make it into something I could try and make Him happy with.

In the words of Dr. Phil; “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

Not so well I must admit.

My ideas always ended me up someplace where the bright and shiny had worn off, and turned into dingy and dark.

I want to tell you what has worked for me.

In seeking truth and light, a real deal, I came across some verses in the Bible that made me more than a little curious to seek the readily available truth of scripture.

The truth looked like this;

In Genesis 1:27 it says;

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And in Psalms 139:13-16 it says;

  • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

And then finally;

John 8:12 says;

  • Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I believe these statements to be the real deal, that being said, then I also believe that we are pretty dog-gone special!

If they are real, it means that;

  • I am (We) are made in HIS image!
  • I am (We) not a mistake, He knew me BEFORE conception!
  • I am (We) will not wander around in the dark if I (We) follow Him!

This is not to say there will not be dark times; there will; but we will not falter by holding on to a counterfeit comfort and light, or shiny useless baubles for our pleasure.

Isaiah 54:17 says that;

  • No weapon formed against you shall prosper. It does no say that it won’t be formed, it says it won’t prosper.

In plain language – regarding truth vs. counterfeit – If you follow what scripture says, you will always be able to discern the truth from a lie.

Thank you for joining me here – My hope is that you will find at least one thing that will be helpful and encouraging for you on your path.

See you next time!