Tag Archive | Significant Encounters

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 #3 Hard Concepts

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.

As I grew up, I became acquainted with concepts like mistrust and doubt, neglect, abandonment, illegitimacy, and adoption. I learned them and felt their effects even though I had no vocabulary for them.

Mistrust and doubt. These concepts were introduced, and well seated in my heart. My adopt-a-dad used to tell me that smart people asked questions. When I asked questions, I got told to use my head for something besides a hat rack.

Of course, this created confusion in my young mind. It also caused my skin to turn red hot with humiliation, and made me wonder if I should ask questions or not?

Mistrust entered my life here from being told something, and then having it turned on me, and made me wonder if I could trust any of what he said.

It turns out, he WAS right, about the question part anyway, the Voice translation of the Bible says it this way – “If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.”  But as my mentor would say, “The message was correct, but the delivery was off.”

Illegitimacy and abandonment. Illegitimacy was written in my DNA.  My bio-dad wanted nothing to do with me even before I was born. I know I am not alone in this, and I know what a shadow it puts on our hearts when we know this truth.

Can I tell you that our heavenly father is not like that? The Christian Standard Bible relays this message like this – “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Psalm 139:16

Now let me say a word about neglect and abandonment. I cannot say that I was neglected. My sweet mother worked very hard to make sure that my siblings and myself were fed, clothed, and housed.

Our emotions needed a lot of help back then, but that part of the equation was not readily available.

The abandonment part placed itself in my heart before I was born, and hid there, growing until such time as it could make itself known and turn my heart into something hard. Hot like molten lava, turned hard as hard as could be.

If your heart is soft, it is pliable. A pliable heart can take in circumstances; pain, loneliness, fear, abuse, and illness, and find a way to use them for good. It can mold itself into something new.

A hard heart? A hard heart shatters in pieces when it is thrown to the ground. Not impossible to fix perhaps, but so much harder, with so many fragments. Only the Master Surgeon would even consider trying to mend it.

I know that since God created us, He can also recreate us. However, we must be willing. We must ask and believe. In John 16:23B-25 it says Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Matthew 8:23 speaks of a servant being healed. And to the centurion, Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. God longs for our hearts to be healed.

Illegitimacy. That is an ugly word when used describing children. The meaning is that of being contrary to law or rules; illegal; unlawful, or not recognized as lawful offspring. Born of parents not married to each other.

Things in 2022 have changed drastically, but in the past, through no fault of their own, they had no legal rights to any inheritance or property. The stigma of an illegitimate child has waned, however, statistics prove that it still causes some pretty bad effects.

Some conditions that come along with it may be, but not limited to, poverty, teenage parenthood, and the low educational status of the parents. Impact of Illegitimate Births

This brings us to the final, and possibly the most important point in this session.

Adoption. Back in the day, children without legal parentage had no rights at all. They were subject to whatever abuses came their way. A legal adoption gives that child proper rights, as though he were born in the same bloodline.

I became as entitled to my adopt-a-dads inheritance as my siblings, who were actually from him. Scripture has a lot to say about this subject. Psalm 68:5-7 says that God is “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing.

I WAS a prisoner, and God saw fit to make sure I was set free. What about you?

Have you experienced the “Spirit of adoption”? Galatians 4:4-6 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (Abba = Daddy)

And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. Romans 11:23 Do you believe God sent His son for you? If so, then this verse applies to you;

Grafted in = Adopted into the family.

Here’s the very best promise of all. God says; I will not leave you fatherless: but I will come to you. John 14:18

Next time our focus will be on our thought life. Getting our thought life in order is the very first step to healing our broken hearts. I hope to “see” you then.