Through Good & Bad

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Isn’t it good to know that Jesus loves ALL people, including the substandard whom society casts aside as worthless.

One great example that often comes to mind, (Luke 7: 36-39)the woman who had lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at a Pharisee’s home.

This woman cast aside any fear of ridicule and shame, went there and knelt at Jesus’ feet weeping.

The Pharisee labeled her a sinner, but Jesus received and accepted her. He spoke gently to her, assuring her that her sins had been forgiven.

Jesus loves flawed, imperfect people like us.  And the greatest demonstration of His love for us is that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

As recipients of His love, may we also extend that same love to other flawed people that we encounter along the way, so that they too may know that they can receive God’s love despite their imperfections.

God heals broken people with His love, and we can be His hands and feet to love on others.

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Lay It At the Cross

As a toddler, I began doodling and writing.    From the time I could hold a crayon, I would write on any piece of paper in sight.  Needless to say, once I started kindergarten,  (after finishing my assignment of course)… I would draw on the corners of my worksheet; the sun, clouds, smiling faces….typical kid stuff.

The teacher, Mrs. Wilkerson wasn’t nearly as thrilled as I with my artistic creations, telling my mother that I was spending way too much time day-dreaming in class.

Smiling now, I didn’t see it that way…..I was simply making my paper pretty, a letter of sorts to her. 6820724_orig.jpg [Side note: To this day, she was my favorite educator and provides me with such fond memories of my childhood.]

Ok! Back to the subject……

However, as I matured into adulthood, I realized that this was a coping tool for me when I needed to gain perspective on whatever was going on in life.

Most of the time after pouring my heart out onto a blank page, I felt that I was better able to step back and view whatever is/was going on more objectively than my emotions would otherwise allow, yet with NO real plausible solution.

Where am I going with this?

Well, just as recording my thoughts onto paper offers me fresh perspective, I now know that pouring our hearts out to GOD in prayer helps us gain His perspective and remind us of His power in whatever we are facing.

When we’re faced with a situation that brings anxiety, fear, or a deep awareness that getting through it will require more than what we possess, lets not resort to doodling and turning it over in our minds.  Instead, run straight to Jesus.

A great example was provided us in 2 Kings 19: 9-19 .  King Hezekiah, after receiving an unsettling letter from an ominous adversary the Assyrians, whom threatened to destroy Jerusalem, as they had many other nations….placed the letter before the LORD.  He prayerfully called upon God to deliver the people, so that the world would recognize that He alone could deliver them.

“Then[Hezekiah] went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.” 2Kings 19:14

We too, should follow this example.  When we receive unsettling news. Pray, meditate in the word of God, and place whatever problem and or concern at the feet of Jesus. Trusting that He will intercede on our behalf, order our steps, provide a solution, and calm our uneasy hearts, all according to His purpose and plan.

God is our greatest help in times of trouble. He is our Deliverer from every fiery trial and a testimony to the world that He is in control of all things.

 

Life Is A Privilege 

Life is a privilege. Its youthful days Shine with the radiance of continuous 

To live, to breathe, to wonder and desire,

To feed with dreams the heart’s perpetual fire,

To thrill with virtuous passions, and to glow

With great ambitions – in one hour to know

The depths and heights of feeling – God! in truth,

How beautiful, how beautiful is youth!
Life is a privilege. Like some rare rose

The mysteries of the human mind unclose.

What marvels lie in the earth, and air, and sea!

What stores of knowledge wait our opening key!

What sunny roads of happiness lead out

Beyond the realms of indolence and doubt!

And what large pleasures smile upon and bless

The busy avenues of usefulness!
Life is a privilege. Thought the noontide fades

And shadows fall along the winding glades,

Though joy-blooms wither in the autumn air,

Yet the sweet scent of sympathy is there.

Pale sorrow leads us closer to our kind,

And in the serious hours of life we find

Depths in the souls of men which lend new worth

And majesty to this brief span of earth.
Life is a privilege. If some sad fate

Sends us alone to seek the exit gate,

If men forsake us and as shadows fall,

Still does the supreme privilege of all

Come in that reaching upward of the soul

To find the welcoming Presence at the goal,

And in the Knowledge that our feet have trod

Paths that led from, and must wind back, to God.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A Time To Believe

To believe is to know that every day is a new beginning.

Is to trust that miracles happen,

and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels

dancing among the clouds,

To know the wonder of a stardust sky

and the wisdom of the man in the moon.
To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,

The innocence of a child’s eyes

and the beauty of an aging hand,

for it is through their teachings we learn to love.
To believe is to find the strength

and courage that lies within us

When it’s time to pick up

the pieces and begin again.
To believe is to know

we are not alone,

That life is a gift

and this is our time to cherish it.
To believe is to know

that wonderful surprises are just

waiting to happen,

And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.
B. J.  Mortbitzer

Shadows

When Jesus comes, the shadows depart”. -unknown

I remember, a particular time in my life when there were many shadows. As I now look back, all that I can say is if it hadn’t been for the Lord, I would have been a total basket case.

Well, one morning as I drove to work, I began to think on everything that was wrong. Adding insult to injury the very car I was driving was one of them.

Overall, I just felt down and alone. One of those seasons when, “if it can go wrong; it will go wrong.”

As I reflected on several parts of my life, shadows hovered around all of them. My eyes were fixed firmly on those shadows and nowhere else.

But something seemed to shake me loose. I almost felt like there was a tap on my shoulder and I felt prompted to look up.Even though it was an overcast day, I could see a few shimmers of sunshine breaking through the gray.

Then my heart remembered this scripture: ” I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1

Such a brief moment but in it, I felt the presence of Jesus right there with me. I can’t tell you what happened but everything changed. He met me there as I drove along. It felt to me like the sky was pure light and everything in my life that I had been worried about was going to be okay.

How about you? Got shadows?

Jesus is waiting for you to lift up your head and look to Him. He already has the solution.

Negative Expectations/Inner Vows

This was such an insightful lesson study, that I felt led to share with the Guard Yo Heart/Tea Among Friends followers. I certainly pray that it is as revelatory to you as it was to me.

 

Negative expectations are unbiblical belief systems that generate sin energies.

Negative expectation defined: an unbiblical belief system which has been established in your heart. It may be against yourself, others, authorities, institutions, or God. Most of these are established on an unconscious level, so we are generally unaware that we are holding them. Yet all must be repented of. They can come from word curses spoken over you or word curses you speak over yourself. Someone may tell you that you are stupid or you may tell yourself you are stupid. Both of these word curses will likely produce a negative expectation that you should act as if you are stupid.

Negative expectations can also come from your heart digesting a negative experience and then creating a negative belief from the experience. For example, if you open your mouth to share and are ridiculed for it, you could begin to believe the lie that, “If I ever open my mouth, I will be put down.” The list of negative beliefs are endless.

Negative expectations Activate the Law of Faith:
Often these expectations are self-reinforcing, for whatever you expect and believe will happen, most likely, will happen. The Bible is clear to say that whatsoever one believes for he will receive. “According to your faith, be it unto you.” (Matthew 9:29) “All things are possible to him that believeth.”(Mark 9:23) One’s faith makes even what appears impossible, possible. So, even if it were unlikely that I would fail in life, if I believe I will, I will. Because I have sown a judgment or belief system in my spirit saying I am going to fail, several biblical laws are activated in my life. “As a man thinketh so is he.”
(Proverbs 23:7)

Negative expectations Activate the Law of Judgment:
The first is the law of judgment which says, ” Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with that judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” (Matthew 7:1-2) Therefore, there is now an opposite force that is activated in the universe that comes back against me and performs the judgment on me which I have made about others. If you judge(or expect) people to be unfriendly, they will be unfriendly toward you. Obviously, it may take some extremely unfriendly people awhile to warm up to your friendliness. This is where the law of sowing and reaping comes in. You sow into a person’s life for a while and eventually you reap a harvest.

Negative Expectations Activate the Law of Honoring, Loving, Fearing rather than a negative judging of others:
The Bible tells us what our attitude is to be: “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1Peter 2:17) Remember, we will receive back the judgment we send out. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive back honor and love from others and blessings from God, because we reverence and obey Him? When we disdain others, we cut off any gifts or blessings God may have planned for that person to give us. Honor obviously begins with our parents, as that is one of the Ten Commandments. God even has a promise for keeping this particular commandment. “Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

Negative Expectations Activate the Law of Sowing and Reaping:
According to the law of sowing and reaping, I must reap a harvest in light of what I have sown. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy.” (Hosea 10:12) “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.” (Job 4:8) This would mean I should expect judgments to come back to me in the same areas I have made them. For example, if I have made a judgment against people who are overweight, then I may find that I have put spiritual laws in motion which end up myself becoming overweight. Or I might find that I draw an overweight spouse to myself. Even if she is slender when we marry, my gale-wind judgment being constantly sent forth from my spirit says I don’t like people who are overweight, and that I won’t approve of her if she becomes heavy. This will cause a constant belittling of her self-worth as I criticize any and every activity that I see her doing that could cause her to gain weight. Eventually she succumbs to the constant criticism and the negative expectation that she will become heavy, and I receive back exactly what I’ve judged. I now have an overweight spouse.

Negative Expectations Activate the Law of Multiplication:
“For they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”(Hosea 8:7) When sowing a negative expectation, I sow to the wind, and now I must reap the whirlwind. You may only sow a small seed of anger, but you will reap an entire crop of wrath, because one little seed sown can produce hundreds of seeds in return.

In conclusion: Examine your beliefs and judgments to ensure they line up with the Bible. Those that don’t line up with the Bible need to be repented of and replaced with a more biblical belief system.

The goal is to remove all negative judgments and expectations about the world, life, people, institutions, and God that attract negative to you, and replace with Biblical expectations that release God’s grace and life out through you and to you. The reverse of negative expectations is Spirit-anointed expectations. You will receive whatever you believe because your faith ensures that you will receive. Your faith draws it to you. Speaking the word has the power to transform. (Hebrews 4:12)

Questions for Discovering the need to replace Negative Expectations:
1. Lord, what negative confessions come out of my mouth?
2. Lord, what negative expectations are in my heart?
3. Lord, what things do I believe that do not line up with what the Bible and Spirit are revealing to me?
4. Lord, what expectations are robbing me of love, joy, and peace?
5. What expectations keep me from giving thanks for all things and in all things?

~Graves