Tag Archive | Inspiration

Significant Encounters 2022 #5 Lighten the Load

Significant Encounters is a place for you if you have experienced drama and trauma in your life.

It’s a place of encouragement for you.

A place where you know that someone is in your corner.

A soft place to land.

The beginning of any journey seems the most difficult. What I’ve learned, what we ALL have learned, is that we may be packed and ready to go, but that baggage is heavy.

This journey will be no different. We are full of doubt and uncertainty.

Should I be doing this? Is it even possible to do this? Can I ever really be fixed, or have any peace? Am I even worth it?

We talked earlier about that doubt. We talked about the fact that God created us the way we are. Just the right way.

We may have even fully believed it when we learned this information.

As days go by, and life happens to us, that baggage seems to get too heavy to carry. (That seed fell on rocky ground)

We talked last time about choices. Choosing what we think about is possible. It is not always easy, but it is always possible.

 Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

So, what are His thoughts? The knowledge of God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The Living Bible says that “These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons, I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.

In other words, we don’t have to tolerate any word that says God created us differently than He did, those words are rebels, lies.

We have the ability to control what we think, and change it more to God’s liking.

We can CHOOSE to make it obey.

Now we read earlier that our thoughts are not His, but we can certainly make the choice to be thinking MORE like Him.

I’d be lying to you if I said that this is an easy turn to take. It’s not. My personal journey turned out to be long and arduous. Can I tell you though, that it was worth the effort?

Let’s talk about that baggage. This idea came not from me, but from a story that I heard at a conference told by Graham Cooke.

After hearing this story, I kept pondering it for days, weeks, perhaps even months, and it comes back every once in a while when I need it.

In my words, and in short form, the story was about baggage; Heavy baggage.

In the dictionary I looked up the word baggage, the third definition was this; Emotions or thoughts that stem from painful or unpleasant past experiences and that affect one’s outlook or behavior.

We all have it. Baggage.

And as Graham says, it was packed by an enemy that hates our guts.

It is heavy and unwieldy; Difficult to use or handle or manage because of size or weight or shape; and often impossible to move.

This baggage carries all the hurts, shames, humiliations, indignations, pains, unwarranted comments and criticisms, and any other things that have caused us to believe ourselves to be less than who God says we are.

Graham compared that baggage to what he called “Proper luggage”.  

Now proper luggage was packed for us by Someone who loves us dearly (that would be God), and wants us to have whatever we need to succeed on our journey, and would not think of putting things in that luggage that will just add weight.

Fast forward. After spending quite a little time with the baggage part, I woke up to another thought.

A thought that I could have only had with God’s help.

All this time, weeks? months? that I had been working through my baggage, and I realized that I wasn’t removing anything, I was simply rearranging what was already there.

Each rearrange gave me more room for more stuff. More weight.   

I learned that the only way that I was going to get anywhere, would be to get rid of the baggage, get some proper luggage, and repack. Pack well, with whatever God had in mind.  

This, my friend, was a choice that I had to make.

Do you see yourself here as well? Do you have a choice to make?

You know at the airport; extra baggage costs a lot to ship.

What did it cost me? What is it costing you?

Please make your choice sooner rather than later.

The steps are these, there could take more or less time depending on how heavy your baggage is.  

#1. Learn what God thinks about you in His word.

#2. Apply it to your life.

#3. Overcome bad thoughts from your previous life.

#4. Do it again, and again.

Every six months, every six weeks, every six days, every six minutes. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. As necessary.

Gradually, you’ll begin to learn, know-in-your-knower, just what God thinks, and that you can think it too!

I believe this thinking is the ONE thing that we can be responsible for.

Here’s what the word says about it.   Ephesians 4:23 says to and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

In other words – Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.

Romans 12:2 says this; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We learned in session #1 of this series, that God is all-powerful.

Since that is the case, what reason would He have to lie to us, or lead us astray?  

If He says we can renew our minds, then by Him, it is possible.

In fact, He says this in Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I’m going to leave you with this today.

Please consider what you have in your baggage, and what you can do to lighten your load.

On our next visit, we’ll take a look at what I believe to be one of the top five things that weigh us down.

Feel free, to comment, like, and share this video/post with anyone who could use a soft place to land.

Until next time ….

Significant Encounters 2022 #4 The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Significant Encounters is a place for you if you have experienced drama and trauma in your life.

A place of encouragement for you.

A place where you know that someone is in your corner.

A soft place to land.

Greetings. I’m excited that you came back again.

How many of us have certain songs that play over and over in our heads? I can remember words to certain songs that I have not heard in 50 years or more.

What about those tv commercials? If I say “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz”, how many can finish that jingle? Many songs we sang, became the “Soundtrack of our lives”.   

We’re wired to remember that way.

How many of us can remember the phone number we had as a kid? Or our childhood home address? Those things are pretty non-threatening stuff.

But what about that time your dad told you that you were nothing but trouble, and would never be worth anything? Or when that kid at school, said that you were so something; fat, skinny, ugly, dirty, smelly, stupid – You remember those words like it was yesterday.

You remember that those words cut you like a knife. Those words bury themselves in your heart, to be replayed whenever you try to be a friend, a good parent or do something to advance yourself.

That nastiness always comes back.

When we least expect it. When we are beginning to believe something better for our lives.

Can we agree that each one of those negative remarks, flaming arrows, sticks, and stones, is a big fat lie from the enemy of our souls?

Our heavenly Father loves us too much to say those things about us, much less to let them bury themselves in our hearts, and allow them to take root.

The Bible calls that a bitter root. We’ll see what God says about taking an ax to that root. Today, let’s begin to take a look at how God says we can wield that ax, you know, “Get to the ROOT of the problem”.  

Matthew 13 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (Unfortunately, weed roots tend to be very strong) 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

What this means to us is that we have to make sure that our soil is good. What is the soil you ask? Good soil is a heart that is ready to receive the words it has heard.

We HEARD the words that were spoken over us. Those words affected us in a damaging way, we ingested them. We received them, and they took root.

In the Hebrew culture, any poisonous plant was called a “bitter” plant. Poison destroys, and the result of ingesting a poisonous plant would be bitter, indeed.

We did not realize that that was an actual choice that we made. That fact was concealed from our eyes. If we make the OPPOSITE choice, then we are on our way to demolishing the root system that has kept us bound for so long.

About choice, I was well out of my teens before I even realized I HAD a choice, that I was not locked into only doing what others decided for me, or living my life like their words said I would.

Now, whatever age you may be, I’m letting you know – You Have a Choice!

Choose wisely, and you will be free!

About that ax. The ax spoken of earlier is the Word of God. The word is God’s truth.

Over many years, after making different attempts at getting myself free, I finally made the choice to use what the word said.

A choice to believe it. Full stop. Believe it no matter what the circumstances were.

That’s two choices really. Follow the word, and CHOOSING not to give up, or back off.

In our narrative, the ax refers to the gospel: the Word of God, the ax is used to hack out the root. This is for our spiritual growth, and to cut out the rotten parts that do not bear good fruit.

In Matthew 4:4 – “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” NOT by what comes out of the mouth of any man.  

And John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Lastly, let me leave you with this. At 9.00 on video, and here in the text –

Please, please, please plant the following in your heart.

Let the roots grow DEEP.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

So your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is the following;

Make a choice

Take up your ax

Identify the root

Apply the ax

Overlay with the truth

Let us renew our minds with these thoughts. We are capable of changing the way we think of ourselves. We are capable of changing the “soundtrack of our lives”’

Join me next time, and we’ll talk more about that thought life. That soundtrack.

Significant Encounters 2022 #2 Who Does God Say You Are?

Significant Encounters is a place for you if you have experienced drama and trauma in your life. A place of encouragement for you. A place where you know that someone is in your corner. A soft place to land.

Remember when I said that God was a creator and that He created us just the way we were? Let me read you something from Psalm 139:13-16 – For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

If we fully understand these verses, then what we know is that God created us the way He wanted us to be. The way he could use us. The way that delighted His heart over us. The delight that He had over us could be a benefit to others. We know that we are not a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes. It’s not something He’s capable of.

Now the world that we live in tends to glorify mistakes. They point them out. You’ll see it daily all-over social media. You’ll see it all over the daily news and hear it when you go out. Coming from every direction. Being canceled is a thing nowadays. It doesn’t take much, just disagree with someone’s opinion. This is NOT how God planned it. He wants us to know what he thinks of us.

He created us. So what does He say about His creation? We just read it, right? We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Even if we don’t FEEL like it.

Fearfully translated from Hebrew means heartfelt interest, reverence, and respect.

Wonderfully translated from Hebrew means unique and set apart.

God often uses our weaknesses to help others. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10.

Sin and pride mask the part where He said He made us with a purpose in mind. What is that purpose?  Love. To love Him. To love others. To show His love to all the people that we can.

Our identity must be found in God. It cannot be found in our families, our jobs, our homes, our hobbies, our travels, or even our dreams. Looking for our identity there, will still allow lots of room for insecurities and poor self-imaging.

Here is a partial list of just what God thinks of you, and the corresponding scriptures.

If you have received Christ as your savior*, then all of these things apply to you.  

It STILL amazes me that God thinks this of me, after all the lies I’ve ingested over a lifetime.

  • You are saved. 2Timothy 1:9 Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. (NKJV)
  • You are complete. Colossians 2:10. and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (NKJV)
  • You are chosen. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. (NLT)
  • You are a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)
  • You are a child of God. 1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (NKJV)
  • You are no longer a slave. Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (NKJV)
  • You are above and not beneath. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail. You will always be on top, never at the bottom, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.
  • You are accepted. Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. (NLT)
  • You are healed. Psalm 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. (NKJV)
  • You are not alone. Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (NKJV)
  • God thinks You are special. 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (NKJV)
  • You are alive in Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). (NKJV)
  • You are His. Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (NKJV)
  • In God, you are wise. Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (NKJV)

Read more about it here; How do I receive Christ?

Pray this simple prayer.


Feel free to like, comment and share with anyone you think might find encouragement from this post.

I hope you’ll join me next time, where we’ll further our conversation on how and why we think of ourselves the way we do.