Tag Archive | truth

One Thing I Missed

As many people do, at the beginning of the year, I’ve been considering the year just finished, and digging deep to find how the year I’m entering can be better; more productive, more quiet, more adventurous, more of whatever it is supposed to be.

Like a hastily taken photograph, there has been a lot of noise in this picture.

I have been able to narrow that noise down to three top priorities.

I posted about them here and here.

In short, they are; 1. Use my writing to help others to heal from their trauma. 2. Take my photography to a higher level to show God’s magnificence and 3. To help people in a more person to person sort of way.

All of these simply mean that I need to stop making excuses, and carve out more time to work on each of these things.

All this past month or so, a different kind of thought has been surfacing around me.

It manifests in different ways and places, but it means the same thing.

I simply MUST take more time to be quiet.

Remain still.

I don’t mean just idle, we all know how to do that.

What I mean is taking that time to quiet the noise inside, so that I can think more clearly.

If you know me, you know that I am a big proponent of “Quietude”, even to the point of making little YouTube spots to help in the process.

Truth time; For the past six months or so, I haven’t been making those spots, or even using them for what they are created for.

It happens.

Life takes a turn sometimes and gets crazy.

When the crazy comes to an end, it takes some time to get back to where we (read I) need to be so we can gain some strength back – mentally, physically or spiritually.  

Enter oversleeping, overeating, over social media-ing, binge watching TV.

This isn’t all bad; the trick is to know when that time is here to stop it, and then do something about it!

One of the ways that it is being made clear to me that it’s time is through a little daily devotion that I read.

Over the last little while, it keeps talking about time, and how it’s been difficult, busy, frustrating and somewhat stagnant.

It also has been encouraging in regards to priorities, entering a new phase of life, knowing I’m not the only one, and resisting the urge (or the habit) of staying hidden away.

These devotions have talked about the significant (I like that word!) changes that have taken place during this time; and now it is time to accomplish what these changes are bringing to pass.

Coming out of this place of retreat, can seem overwhelming.

The habits that help us to be calm, take time to bring to the surface again;

The New and Improved Model!

It seems slow, even one step ahead is always preferred.

But it all makes me want to run forward.

Then today two things came in front of me almost simultaneously;   

  • I heard a friend speak (on Facebook Live) that I hadn’t heard in a while. He was talking about “Zoning out”. His word for “Quietude”. And how he must do this every day, to quiet the noise, to turn off the world we live in, so he can think; the silence speaks volumes. The “Mind of Christ” becomes clearer to him at these times.
  • Today’s devotion was this; January 14, 2020:  Take a breath and settle down, says the Lord.  I know your sense of urgency and impatience to get a move on, but right now I need you to be tolerant and long-suffering.  Otherwise, you will remove yourself from the flow of divine destiny.  Keep yourself in My Spirit and take life as it comes with the grace I will provide.  Romans 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Oh my goodness.

Gently and kindly I’ve been being pushed in this direction – and then today……

It didn’t seem very gentle.

It seemed very firm and deliberate.

Listen up.

Take the time.

I used to teach people that even if you start with five minutes, it could help.

Then you can move the time out as your grow in strength.

But God can work with ANY time that we give Him.

How did this get left off of my priority list?

Well its back on there folks.

Beginning today!

“Quietude” first!

The results will be amazing!

I’ve experienced them before, those “Quietude” moments.

And look forward to enjoying them again!

Thanks for staying with me.

Until next time!

Father's Love Letter

On this day, we celebrate the fact that our heavenly Father gave us His most precious gift;

His one and only son, Jesus Christ.

Here is reprint of a “Father’s Love Letter”

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1)

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2)

I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm139:3)

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31)

For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27)

In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)

For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28)

I knew you before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12)

You were not a mistake. (Psalm 139:15-16)

For all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16)

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you should live. (Acts 17:26)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6)

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44)

I am not distant and angry, but the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16)

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1)

Simply because you are My child, and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1)

I offer you more than an earthly Father ever could. (Matthew 7:11)

For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48)

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17)

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)

My plan for the future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18)

And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I will never stop doing good to you. (32:40)

For you are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5)

I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:40

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3)

If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Delight in my and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13)

I am able to do more for you than you can possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18)

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11)

One day I will wipe every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4)

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4)

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My son, Jesus. (John 17:23)

For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. (John 17:26)

He is the exact representation of My being. (Hebrews 1:3)

He came to demonstrate that I am for you and not against you. (Romans 8:31)

And to tell you I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

His death is the ultimate expression of My love for you. (1 John 4:10)

I gave up everything I loved that I may gain your love. (Romans 8:32)

If you receive the gift of My son Jesus, you receive Me. (1 John 2:23)

And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. (Romans 8:38-39)

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7)

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

My question is … Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)

I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

Almighty God

Too much of a good thing; Pit Falls, and Pit Bulls.

The most important part of a painful conversation is the conclusion that comes from it.

Allow me to briefly explain.

Recently I was told that I was no longer jovial, or fun; that I was different than I was before.

How that exchange came up, or the pain it caused me is not important. At least not here.

The most important parts of any conversation, are both perception, and and process.

Perception involves;

  • Who said it?
  • Why did they said it?
  • What did they really mean?
  • True motivation of the speaker. Period.

Process involves;

  • Is what they said true?
  • Do I need to take it literally?
  • If it’s false; how do I handle it?
  • If it’s true; how do I handle that?

Back Story

Through childhood trauma, and the passing of my mother in 2001, I spent much of my time recovering from a form of PTSD/depression.

God’s Word, the Holy Bible was instrumental as a foundation for my healing.

It taught me to seek out solitude, and gave me steps to begin changing my thought patterns , and learn to avoid the pitfalls of a too painful life.

Reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, (https://amzn.to/33esZWt) gave me an inside look on the real me.

I found that enjoying being alone, was actually quite normal for some folks; and that for me it can actually be revitalizing.

Through reading her material, I was free of the guilt brought on by withdrawing, and began to embrace the quietness, and thus thrust my healing light years ahead of where I was.

Then about two years ago, we had to put our little Cairn Terrier to sleep.

He was to be our forever dog, and at age four, became to ill to be fixed.

I swore off ever having another dog.

The pain of his passing, brought back memories of the pain from my mom’s passing, and without my really noticing it – I was again enveloped in depression.

Withdrawing further and further into my own bubble, using my new knowledge of “Quietude” as an excuse.

Well, a mentor of mine says that even a GOOD thing carried to excess, can become a BAD thing; a burden.

So it was with solitude.

So back to present day, and that PERCEPTION thing;

  • Was what I was being told true? Probably yes.
  • Why did they say it? Most likely because now MY pain, was causing THEM pain.
  • What did they really mean? PLEASE figure this thing out so you can stop being so miserable.
  • True motivation? No matter how rough their comments came out, they really only have my best interest at heart.

So how about that PROCESS part?

The evening of that fight was difficult; my heart was dark with pain.

But the following morning, I got up and in solitude, prayed my favorite prayer of all; “God, please tell me the truth.”

  • Was what they said true? Unfortunately, yes. I had been increasingly sullen over the past several months.
  • Should I take their pleas literally? Yes of course. Even though I was not seeing any issues, they were; and it was causing them much inner turmoil.
  • Was it false? No. Since it was not false, it could not be ignored, unless of course change was not something I wanted. (To be clear – I NEVER want to cause someone pain!)
  • So is it true? Yes. Oh God. Tell me what to do. Tell me the truth, and help me to hear it.

Almost immediately, a random thought, of a random conversation with a random friend came to mind.

A conversation about her dog.

She lives alone, and has a large dog that not only keeps her company, but keeps her safe in her ever changing neighborhood.

I of course balked at this random idea, but as I considered her story (boy did she have some stories!) it became clear that perhaps a new dog may be helpful.

It would REQUIRE me to get out of my bubble a bit, and also keep me company.

Always a fan of the “bully breeds”, I began a search for Pit Bulls.

The day we went to see, and maybe pick up the one I wanted at a shelter a couple of towns away, he was sent away to a different home.

Sad, but no harm, no foul.

That night, a friend I’ve known for forty years, placed a video of a dog she knew of who needed to be re-homed – his owner was just too busy to care for him, and he was tied in the yard to a tree most of the time.

His owner was agreeable to us taking him off her hands.

We picked him up the very next day.

All of the problems we could have had with another dog or puppy, are non existent.

He is however making me get up, move about, and TALK.

I don’t know how it will all end, but I’m feeling a bit happier, a little lighter, and glad to have been able to help out a pup in need in the process.

So. All that to say this; Ask God to tell you the truth.

Listen even when it seems random.

He’s here to help.

Oh, and just a note, the pit bull I wanted? Through no fault of his own brought back to the shelter this a.m. Imagine that.

Enjoying his new digs.

See you next time!

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!

Take a Breath

 

In lieu of many things on my mind as of late, I thought I’d re-run a post that I originally ran in September of 2011.

 

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.

These are the most important words.

I want you to hear them.

God created you.

You were His choice.

If you hear anything different than this,

It is a lie.

Straight from the enemy of your soul.

Designed solely to keep you away from your loving Father in Heaven.

Run from that lie,

And into His arms of truth.

Have a rest there.

Take a breath.

 

I’m working on Friday’s topic.    Until then, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Whatever is on your mind.  A question?  An answer?  A bit of your story?

Or perhaps a topic you’d like to see discussed here.

Above all,  take a breath,

and I’ll see you back here on Friday.

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