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
“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.
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.”
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?
Every scar has a story
What will mine tell
What will come of this
when I’m better, when I’m well
I want my scar to tell
of how I’ve overcome
of how I made it through
of where I have come from
I want my scar to whisper
about the pain I faced
about this very hard time
about the marathon I raced
But mostly I want my scar
to speak of something greater
I want it to shout
about my living Creator
Let my scar be evidence
that there is a loving Lord
who fought my scary battles
and on whose wings I soared
Let my scar proclaim
that all things work for good
that by myself I couldn’t
but with my God I could
Let them take a look
Let them peek and see
My scar shows God is great
It points to Him, not me.
Kristina M. DeCarlo
In calm and cool and silence, once again
I find my old accustomed place among
My brethren, here, perchance, no human tongue
Shall utter words; where never hymn is sung,
Nor deep-toned organ blown, nor censer swung
Nor dim light falling through the pictured pane!
There, syllabled by silence, let me hear
The still small voice which reached the prophets ear;
Read in my heart a still diviner law
Than Israel’s leader on his tables saw!
here let me strive with each besetting sin,
Recall my wandering fancies, and restrain
the sore disquiet of a restless brain;
And, as the path of duty is made plain,
May grace be given that I may walk therein,
Not like the hireling, for his selfish gain,
With backward glanced and reluctant tread,
Making a merit of his coward dread,
But, Cheerful, in the light around me thrown,
Walking as one to pleasant service led;
Doing God’s will as if it were my own,
Yet trusting not in mine, but in His strength alone!
– John Greenleaf Whittier
You long to heal the inner man
Where we are bruised and scarred
The memories of the hurts we have
Still linger from the past
We need to give the past to you
So you can begin to mend
The brokenness within our souls,
To bring wholeness once again
Lord, you see the deepest part
Where others cannot see
And only you can feel the pain
That’s there inside of me
Lord, you saw what I went through,
You held each tear I cried
You wanted then to show yourself,
To pour your love inside
I couldn’t see you reaching out;
I didn’t know you were there
I felt so very much alone;
I didn’t know you cared
But now, as I look back, I see
You cared about my life
When I was in my darkest times,
You were there by my side
So help me now to reach to you,
To know you so much more,
To really know the depth of your love,
To know you as my Lord.
“When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].”
– Ephesians 4: 26-27 (AMP)
Anger is a natural emotion we all have from time to time. Even the most placid among us feel anger at times. It’s not exactly wrong to feel anger, after all Jesus displayed anger when he drove out the moneychangers. I believe it’s all in how we handle our anger.
If we respond to people and situations in an explosion of angry words and gestures, ranting and raving, then that expression is obviously the wrong way – it’s merely ‘venting’ the anger. When we do this, it’s the people around us that get hurt the most.
How, then, do we deal with anger?
I’m still on the journey of discovering how to not react out of anger. One way I believe God has spoken to me concerning this, is in this scripture: Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” It dawned on me one day, that if I respond in a ‘gentle tone using gentle words’, it will squash the anger inside. You see, when we ‘vent’ our anger it’s never ‘gentle’, it’s often loud, blunt, and hurtful with words that we wouldn’t normally use. Responding in this way set’s a pattern for how we respond, when angry, in the future – and on it goes! This is why I believe we are not to let the sun go down while we’re still angry.
Lord, please help me not respond
In a hurtful, angry way
But to respond with gentle words
In what I have to say.
Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). – Ephesians 4: 31 (AMP)
photo: Desiring God/ Google
In the midst of my pain
Do not allow my living be in vain.
For I must not kick and shove
I must be harmless as a dove.
Yet I need Your wisdom from above
For the storms are raging and the waters
Threaten to over take me…the dark
Clouds are gathering…but in the midst
Of it all I see a glimmer of light..yes!
In the midst of the angry billows, the light
Is getting even brighter.
In the midst.. I see you Oh Lord the Lover
Of my soul, who in the midst brings peace
To my soul. Calming all my fears in the midst!
You bring me joy in the midst of my pain.
For in the midst of my sorrow You have made
Me to dance before You..and Oh the joy
That overflows my soul in the midst of this
Wealthy place you have brought me into!
Margaret C. Mullings
We are your children, Lord,
Saved by your precious grace
And walking in your victory,
Living by hope and faith
We come before your holy throne
And worship at your feet,
Our souls renewed with new hope,
Our spirits now set free
We yearn to know you more, O God,
More than we do right now
And we long for your presence, Lord,
As before your throne, we bow
May we be as fragrant offerings,
An incense of the Lord
That you may take pleasure in us,
A vessel you have called
So you may fill to overflow
With your Holy Spirit of truth,
So we can take your gospel, Lord,
To those who don’t know you
And be to them as Jesus was,
To love them all despite
Wherever they have come from, Lord,
For you can change their lives
So they can come before you
And worship you with praise,
To come into your presence, Lord,
And receive your saving grace.