We are living within a pressure driven society! There is a myriad of social pressures that are imposed on one to make them feel the need to fit in. This can at times cause undue stress and result in unfavorable behavior. These behaviors are not readily discussed but are becoming more prevalent! Fitting in is not easy and makes it harder to transition through the stages of youth and early adulthood development. For some it is much more difficult than others. As a matter of fact we have a growing number of individuals that are self mutilating themselves in order to relieve intense inner pressure. Self injury is on the rise!
What? Yes, they harm themselves; they are a part of the growing number that leans towards cutting themselves. Growing up can be painful and difficult! Did you know that not being like everyone else really is okay! Once you accept this you won’t have to cut yourself to feel okay! Everyone still on this side of Heaven is here to learn and grow… You are like a beautiful flower waiting to bloom!
What is cutting?
Cutting is when someone takes a blunt object, pin, paper clip, scissors or a razor blade and proceeds to make cuts on their wrists, arms, legs, thighs or torso to the point that they bleed. Some will even burn themselves or harm themselves in some other way. This is usually done in a place that is less noticeable! It is becoming an increasing reoccurring behavior that can become addicting. It often goes unnoticed because the self mutilator will make excuses for the cuts and bruises or try very hard to keep them hidden by making excuses. Oh the cat scratched me, or I fell in the bushes, i slipped, or I scraped myself on the… Cutting is considered an impulse – control behavior reaction!
Who cuts themselves?
Cutting is something that is done by both genders. It appears that female teens and younger women are primarily the predominate participators. However there are a growing number of guys who cut themselves as well. There are a number of reasons why they result to such drastic measures. Some cut because they know that their friends cut themselves. One viable cause that jumps out is the need for inner, “relief!” They are tormented and driven by thier pain. These individuals feel and enormous amount of pressure!
Books on Cutting
Someone who is cutting can’t always freely express themselves and they often feel as though they are emotionally knotted up. The need for a release is why they begin cutting. Some like the way the cuts look and when they begin to heal will reopen the cuts. You can’t really force someone to stop cutting. So what do you do? Lend a listening ear and let them know that you care! Yelling at someone who is cutting is not very helpful. Approaching them with patience and concern is a much better method if you really want to help them. Be firm in letting them know that they need to get some relief; but in a healthier way. Allow them some time to vent… Encourage them to seek help!
Signs of Cutting
There are a few signs that you might notice such as …………Continue Reading
Music for Healing – “Balm In Gilead”
Have you ever had a situation when you did not know what to do? Have you ever had a problem that you thought was so big you did not know how it could ever be resolved? Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried to explain something no one would understand? Have you ever felt so discouraged that you felt as though the weights of the world were upon your shoulders? Have you been physically ill or near death and felt that you were at the point of no return? Has death knocked on the door of a friend or love one unexpectedly? On the other hand has God freed you from narrow minded and shallow view thinking religious folks? Have you ever been persecuted, forsaken, maligned, misunderstood or unappreciated? Or have you just been so spiritually blessed you can just not express it in words? ( I am sure there are a few scenarios I forgot?) If you have ever experienced one or more of the above I have some great news for you! Nothing happens in your life that God is not aware of!
I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing that is too big, hard, and deep or complicated for GOD! More important all of the above are reasons to really get to find out what He is really all about “God is Love.” As a matter of fact in I Corinthians 13 the Scriptures tell us “Love never fails”. Never as a truism meaning never; it just won’t happen! Now don’t get me wrong. I said have you ever felt like? Did you know that your feelings can transport you into a realm of thought that you really do not have to enter? If you do enter you do not have to stay there? How do I do that? You must pluck some good ole spiritual fruit? Take just a slither of “self control”. Gradually digest it’s nutrients. This will help you take the helm. You must begin to get in gear. Shift by not allowing your feelings to get the best of you? How do I do that? Begin by acknowledging how you feel. Good, Bad or indifferent? Do not lean to your own understanding. Remember God is a Spirit of Truth! The Truth truly sets you free! Did you know that God will do exceedingly above and more than you could ever wish when you are obedient? He can, wants to and will direct your path. This is why it is important that you do not get bogged down in your thoughts nor into what someone else thinks. As simple as this might seem all you must do is shift your FOCUS!
For a moment let’s just imagine life as an obstacle course. Always keep in view, that at the end of your course your reward(s) awaits. To help you keep focused just know; your rewards are guaranteed and determined by God. Nobody can change or alter that fact. How many, much or few those rewards are is actually between you and God. God created you for a purpose. Each individual has a purpose. Once you embark into existence there is no way out unless you finish. Each individual has a time in which to complete their course. That time can be premature; prior to birth or instantly, after birth. That time can span a few minutes, days, weeks, years, decades or a century plus. There are no two paths designed that are exactly alike. Therefore you cannot navigate in the same manner as someone else. The Holy Spirit as the ultimate guide wants to and awaits too direct your path!
God who is all wise and all knowing has given us guide lines and instructions. This is why His Word is so very important. Now, just know that you can select some, all or part of His instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? You can practice them legalistically or even disregard, modify, add your own, or totally ignore the instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? Keep in mind there are actually some instructions that you do not have to do any more. Why is that? When Jesus came He left us with a better way. He is our only perfect example. He actually fulfilled the law. We are now free from the law. You must become familiar with His Word. It is full of history and wisdom. It is important to know what they were and what they are now! When you read His instructions you will be fed spiritually. This way you can really appreciate all that He has done for us! This will also help you when someone else gives you direction. You will know the difference when you have faithfully studied the instructions. Always remember you can opt to ignore all of them. But, again there will be consequences. Free choice was designed so we are not mechanical robots. Your intellect was actually designed for you to think intelligently. How do you think Adam named all those animals? It is crucial that you intellectually as well as spiritually yield to the Lord’s way. Yielding helps you to subscribe to His will being done in your life. Here is where you will find true freedom. You will also know “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” But He tells us not to use our liberty to cloak maliciousness! Remember absolutely nothing is hidden from God! God is sovereign! This also helps you to keep focused!
God has given us the opportunity to have an internal guide. But you must first acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. To shift to this level of functioning you must invite His Son as your Savior to come and abide in your heart! Now you are ready! When all or any of those feelings I talked about earlier come what do you do? You shift your Focus to God. God our Father, our Creator and Maker of all things. Colossians tell us that there is not anything that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. This world as we know it was spoke into existence. The Word, became flesh and dwelt among us! His Word is Jesus! He really does know all about your Troubles, Temptations or Trials. He really does have a way. That is why He says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the only door to Him!
When your life becomes burdened down with the troubles of this world remember it is only a test? Life wants to distract you from your purpose. You were created to worship and praise God. I also have a little secret that just might help you? It does not matter how much or little someone thinks of you? It does not matter how much or little you have? It does not really even matter how many, or few titles that are in front of or behind your name. It does not even really matter what others say; especially when it is just not true . God knows the intent as well as content of our hearts. Hallelujah! Many will draw conclusions and make assumptions based on little or no factual data. Problems and situations are seasonal. God is eternal! He always was and always will be! This is why it is so important not to get drawn into how you feel. Feeling is a good thing, anyone that does not feel is ready for the grave. Just don’t let your feelings control you. It’s never too late to change. Begin to learn to take in several bites of self control. It really goes a long way. You can learn to be objective when you deeply examine situations. Many are often deceived. Remember, you must learn to focus. This will give you the proper motivation to do the right thing at the proper time. It will also give you a taste of another fruit which is inner peace. This will also let you know what is important. What really is important is; that you know and obey God. God will never lead you to do anything morally, physically or spiritually that goes against His principles.
Start today by incorporating in your daily diet His fruit. Galatians 5 will teach you all about the fruit of God’s Spirit. It also lets you know by contrast the works of the flesh. You have as much tine as you need to accomplish what He wants you to do. Oops! By the way it might seem to others when you take a bite of patience you have, or are………whatever? Patience often does work tribulation. Oh but HOPE will take you through tribulation. Hope helps you not to be ashamed. It will definitely help you keep focused! But your hope must lie in God! Did you know your mind can bring you down and confuse you when it is not properly focused? It can allow you to distort the facts. Remember God’s Love never fails! Now if you have not confessed and believed in your heart you may or should I say will have a problem with all of this. Why? It so simple that it is difficult. Be careful who and what you yoke yourself up with. There are those who major in worry. Have you ever heard the expression “If you are going to worry why pray?” God’s yoke is easy and His burdens are light. His burdens are not to weigh you down. They come so you can what? Put it all in His hands.
Always remember who and what awaits you. Better yet who is with you? His precious Comforter, the Holy Spirit! The way this world is going, it’s just no telling, you might just be one of those who ends up being caught up in the air with Jesus? Either way at the end of this course God has reward(s). Keep your faith and trust in Him. He really does have it all under His control. This is why it is very important to always keep in view; God has a purpose for you! This is why He says be anxious for nothing! But in “all things through prayer and supplications let your request be made known… “If your mind is stayed (focused) on Him He will keep you in perfect peace.” All you must do is “PUT IT ALL IN HIS HANDS”
To God be the Glory!
Click Here to listen/download the single “Put It All In His Hands” by Percy Gray & The Chapter Ministry Singers
Webster defines discipline as a training that corrects, molds or perfects the mental faculties or moral character. A control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. To discipline means to train or develop by instruction and exercise; especially in the area of self control.The development of discipline is essential to our overall personal growth and spiritual maturity. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Due to Adam’s sin mankind has inherited a sin-based nature. The appetite to fulfill the desires of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh is quite often first and foremost. The appetite of each individual varies. Your desire could be overeating or under-eating, alcohol, drugs, immoral sexual behavior, lying, envy, idolatry, covetousness, etc. In order to overcome this proclivity towards sin one must continually learn to surrender their yearnings toward self-gratification. How can we accomplish this? To the believer deliverance from an undisciplined lifestyle is quite attainable. Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:19. The key factor in that verse is the strength has to come from the LORD.
God is quite aware of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are what alerts us to the fact we need something other than ourselves to overcome our human frailties. God has created us for the purpose of fellowship. We must continuously develop a life in accordance with the instructions He has left in His WORD. The first step to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth and the life: NO man cometh unto the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6. There is no other way to GOD.
Our perspective on life greatly affects how we deal with certain situations. Envision with me if you please a house. Everyday you would pass by this house. After a while you become very familiar with it’s exterior. You then begin to even make assumptions about the house. You eventually come to admire it for it’s surface beauty, but only from an exterior point of view. You’ve seen the front door day after day but you have never stopped and taken the time to knock at the door. You are aware of where the house is; you even think you have a general idea of what it’s like inside. But do you really? Quite often we develop the same type of relationship with God. We know where His instructions for daily life are found. We have access to the Bible. But how often do we really devote time to actually seek His spiritual direction for our day to day living? We must go beyond the exterior and delve into the WORD and embrace His principles and apply them to our lives consistently. When we embrace His principles we embark upon a life of freedom. This freedom will free you from the appetites of the flesh and the clutches of the world. When you develop an intimate relationship with Him He begins to fill that deep endless void THAT ONLY HE CAN FILL.The Christian life is not an unattainable idealistic lifestyle. When we begin to walk in the Spirit we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh. Christians are to live lives that are dependent on God. It is through this spiritual dependency the strongholds that satan has on your life will begin to dissipate. This spiritual walk includes a life of discipline. Remember it is through discipline we are able to harness and control the lusts of the flesh I mentioned earlier. Christ lived, suffered, died and arose from the dead for a reason. He sacrificed His life to redeem us from the curse and endowment of Adam’s sin. It is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can overcome and partake in the victorious life he has prepared for those that truly love Him. “Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.” The scripture is not just for memorization to impress others. It is an edible delicacy that will nourish your spirituality and quench your unquenchable thirst as you truly embrace and live out it’s intended principles.
We must seek and learn to discipline our life to His standards. We must begin to relinquish the desire for man’s approval and conditional acceptance. We can never please man. I must warn you! The closer you draw to GOD the less man will understand you. You will be persecuted and greatly misunderstood. Guess what ? So was Jesus! He was maligned and accused of many things by those who should have known better. It was those who were thought to be spiritual that treated Him exceedingly wrong. Man looks from the outside in; this is the opposite of God’s perspective. He looks from the inside out. He knows all about you. Your innermost thoughts and desires are fully known by Him. The key to a peaceful and contented life filled with true JOY is available. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (appetites of the flesh) we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.” How important is discipline? It is very important!
Whenever you or a love one experiences a significant loss, serious illness or death it is normal to experience grief. There are many other types of losses that occur in life that can result in grief as well. Recovery issues, divorce, financial, relocation, career change, natural disasters as well as a miscarriage or abortion can all trigger one to experience a degree of grief. The initial reaction to any of the above is usually shock accompanied by a feeling of numbness. Grief can often result in one feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and or abandonment. It is also possible to ask “why me?” Anger and resentment may result in feelings of ambivalence. Initially the above symptoms are natural. The passing of time is a partial salve that can and will eventually anesthetize your deep pain.
If you are a Christian, finding solace in God’s Word during grief is a great resource to help you maneuver through a plethora of emotions. It is during grief you can actually learn to embrace God’s spiritual comfort. The deep void that one experiences during grief is often unexplainable. So if you don’t feel like talking try spending some time with God. As you truly and earnestly seek God who is the ultimate “Comforter” you can experience His abiding presence. If you are a believer you should know that God’s Word is true . Not some of it but all of it. His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us” must be faithfully embraced in your hour of need.
Grieving is an emotionally painful process. Allowing the one that is grieving to talk freely about how they are feeling is healthy and consoling. Many become depressed and can have a deep sense of guilt. There are two types of guilt; normal and neurotic guilt. Neurotic guilt is based on unrealistic expectations or situations. Helping the one that is grieving to face the reality of loss is helpful. It is healthy to allow them the freedom to talk about their love one. Enabling is never healthy. Allowing them to work through their emotions by being active is a good thing. Taking a walk, run or jogging may even be relaxing and release some inner tension. During an opportune moment try telling them a humorous story or a funny joke can help lift their spirit momentarily. Encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Helping them to freely express their feelings and concerns are healthy. Remember everyone is different. Just because you do not see them crying does not mean they are not grieving. Some people elect to privately grieve. Some time just doing nothing is good. A good friend will be patient, sensitive, caring and compassionate and understanding at this time. Just knowing you are there for them can be a great sense of comfort.
During the holidays when there are many festive celebrations this can also be a reminder to many of their time of loss. After the holidays pass and all the seasonal excitement has dissipated there may be a resurgence of grief. This too is a natural response. Again try to allow yourself to think of some of the happier times you shared together. Depression and sickness can be spawned in the midst of grief. Emotional pain when not dealt with properly can trigger physical illness. Where, what and whom you focus on will make a world of difference. In spite of all the painful things that can happen or has happened in life, there is always something good to think about. God still has you here for a purpose. Some days you might have to take it a moment at a time. Again, please allow yourself to think about some of the cheerful experiences you shared with your love ones. God tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything.Suffering is a part of life. Just think if we did not know sorrow how would we know joy?
Your love one is really in a much better place. They have actually transcended suffering. When you focus on God you can have joy in the midst of your grieving. This is why it is so important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. God does not take pleasure in seeing us suffer. Grief and sorrow are a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. When they disobeyed they chose sin and grief as a way of life for mankind. This is why it is important to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of His death and resurrection we now have direct access to the Father. God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or on our situation. Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will give you a peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.
The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes in our life. God’s presence and comfort is available. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial, quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path.
God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!
We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness. The Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, war, hurricanes, floods and the latest furious Tsunami. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive. God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. Every Word of God is true . One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. We have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome. Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.
Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control. Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.” Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. When your heart is heavy try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand. Your security and significance must rely in God. We never know what each day may bring. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a lifestyle. Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. It secures our heavenly residence and can give us hope in the midst of grief, persecution and longsuffering. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14. This is why His Word says in everything give thanks!
Depression is America’s number one health problem. A growing number of our population suffers from depression. The state of the economy has greatly impacted many! During the Holiday season when everyone is seemingly happy and cheerful many suffer from “Seasonal Depression.” Depression can be brought on by trauma, prolonged stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, living with a substance abuser, sexual abuse, obesity, unemployment or unresolved family dysfunction. A decrease in neurotransmitters is also a major factor in depression. When anger is not dealt with properly it can actually manifest in the form of depression. Depression is actually unresolved anger turned inward. A person can actually be depressed for years and not know they are depressed.
A depressed person suffers from self- defeating beliefs. Here are a few of those beliefs. I have to be loved to be happy. I must give up my beliefs to please others. If others don’t like me I can’t be happy. I can’t trust others they will only hurt me. I’m inferior to others. I should never hurt anyone else’s feelings. This is why it is so important not to compare yourself with others. Comparing will either make you feel superior or inferior. Everyone has there own unique shortcomings. We all are in a state of “becoming”. Know that God made us all uniquely different yet equal.
There are varying degrees of depression.The foundational causes of depression are usually rooted in some type of personal injury. A deep sense of hopelessness, fear, bitterness, anger, ambivalence and despair are usually a side bar of depression. Depressed people are usually focused inwardly. A deep sense of shame often keeps the depressed person in a state of emotional isolation. Angry with themselves and sometimes even angry with God they experience a great deal of conflict. Depression is often described as feeling as though you are totally alone in a black bottomless hole.
A chronically depressed person may often have suicidal or violent thoughts towards themselves or others. They also suffer from distorted thinking, which can resort in magnifying situations. A great sense of loneliness is realized since they feel unwanted, unimportant and unloved. They may over eat, under eat, sleep excessively or to the extreme be unable to sleep at all.
In extreme depression there is frequent loss of emotional control and frequent crying spells. Overwhelmed by the depression their being inhabits a deep void. Although often remorseful after improper behavior, they have the potential to exhibit extremely violent and self-destructive behavior. A depressed person can use their depression to manipulate others. Attention getting depression frequently ends up in loss of mate and friends.
Bipolar depression alternates between manic and depressive moods. There is much medical evidence to substantiate genetic predisposition in some individuals. In between episodes they can have long periods of normal functioning. This type of depression can take a toll on those afflicted as well as their friends and loved ones. Depression of this magnitude accounts for the majority of mental hospital admissions. In most cases the assistance of a prescribed anti-depressant medication is necessary. This helps to replenish the depleted neurotransmitters. This kind of treatment is only viable by a qualified Psychiatrist or a medical physician.
Depression is of a spiritual nature as well. Although the word depression is not mentioned The Bible on numerous occasions mentions hopelessness and despair. Remember when King Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and wandered eating grasses, grew long, long, hair and his nails grew as claws.
He finally lifted his eyes to the Lord and praised Him. His understanding was restored.” Read Daniel 4: 32-34. What about Job, Moses, David, Elijah or Jeremiah, these are just a few examples. Or how about King Saul who had a tormenting spirit? Encouraging a depressed person to think realistically from a biblical perspective is crucial to their healing. Depression can be cured with the right therapeutic help when it is not of a biological nature. The power and direction of the Holy Spirit is much needed in dealing with a depressed person. Help them to understand that God loves them because of who He is and not because of who we are. (Without God we really aren’t much of anything.) His love for us is not based on what we do or do not do. That He loved us so much He allowed His son Jesus who was sinless to die for us. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior He stands patiently waiting to help us with our varied sin weaknesses. A truly Christ centered life will give your life new meaning! Fellowshipping with balanced committed Christians is a plus. Spending time doing something for someone else will give them less time to spend in introspection or self- pity.
Let them know God already knows all what has transpired in their life. Encourage them to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him. Not a religious knowledge! But to really begin understanding that the Bible is not a fantasy! The examples therein are for us, then, today and tomorrow! Once you accept Jesus He is forever there for you. Just don’t leave Him out! You are adopted. Your old self should gradually begin to take on the characteristics of your heavenly Father. But for this to take place you must spend time with Him. Begin to meditate on His WORD! Start with Romans 5:1-6 and Philippians 4: 6-9. Be patient know that God has promised to work everything in your life for good eventually. Learn to properly verbalize your anger. Don’t suppress it. It’s okay to be angry!
Christians often experience depression. Feelings of abandonment override their ability to rationalize that God really loves them right where they are. This is why it is so very necessary for committed teachers of the Gospel to expound with wisdom and simplicity. Keeping it on a level for all to understand. To reinforce that we can really do ” all things through Christ that strengthens us”. To know that fear is not from the Lord. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Do you need STRESS RELIEF?
Are you stressed? Is there something weighing on your mind? Is there some inner conflict? Is there something happening in your life and you don’t know how things will work out? You are not alone! At some point in time everyone experiences a certain degree of stress. Feelings actually lets you know that you are still here! A small amount of stress is actually healthy. It keeps you on your toes and motivates you to shift. Do you need stress relief?
Life today can be quite complex at times. There are many pressures on varying diverse levels, more so at times for some. You can actually worry yourself sick. To name a few stress affects your happiness, brings on acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, high blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, impacts your sex drive as well as hampers your infertility. If you are experiencing a significant amount of stress don’t wait until you are completely over whelmed to find some relief. Conflict and stress are a normal part of life. If your patience is getting close to nil know; you are reaching your limit. Don’t wait until you explode and get really angry to express yourself. This will only further complicate the situation. While angry and out of control you say and do things that can be destructive. Begin to shift.
Stress is defined as; “Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.
Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee). If we don’t take action, the stress response can lead to health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.” medicine net.com
When you are stressed it becomes difficult to respond properly. Many often become verbally or emotionally abusive. For some they respond physically , in an inappropriate manner when they lack proper coping skills. When stressed you can become tense, it may be harder to concentrate, you may even get a headache or your heart begins to race. This is a clear indication that YOU NEED to shift. Here is something that will help you. Imagine a cup of ice cubes being slowly yet gently poured over your head. Allow yourself to feel the coolness of the ice gently melting over you. Begin to Allow your anger to subside. Please! Think before you respond!
When the pressures of life begin to get to you it is important that you get a grip on your emotions. No, I am not saying go into denial! How you feel is important. Your feelings need to be validated. Depression will result if you don’t. Depression is anger turned inside! When it gets to this point you may need professional help! Seek out resources for anger management if you have “out of control behavior.” Quite often you have learned some unhealthy dynamics that need to be changed. It may be hard for you to just say how you are feeling without being so angry. Your anger is a clear indication that you are also hurting. This will often result in something or someone triggering your anger and setting you “off.” If this is the case know that you are being controlled by remote. Learn how to stay “on” track!
Here are a few ways to relieve stress.
If you are stressed? It is important to begin to spend some quiet time to unwind. Writing a letter to anyone who has hurt you is good. Express exactly how you feel. This is for your eyes only. Then tear it up and throw it away! You can also get an empty chair; imagine that the person is sitting there, and say to whomever has hurt you how you feel. Take control and release any anger, hurt, shame or disapointment! You are now beginning to take out the trash that has begun to weigh you down. Listen to some relaxing music, exercising, or just taking a walk helps. You now have decided to no longer let what has happened to sit on the shelf of your mind and ferment! You are now beginning to move towards letting it go. This also heps you move towards wholeness.
If your family is stressed? Set aside some quiet time aside from the television or any outside distractions and have a family “pow wow.” Allow those concerned to briefly talk about how they are feeling. Then have them talk about how things can be improved. It is helpful to have one of the children to moderate you will be surprised. Your objective is to create a healthy, loving , open, nurturing, safe environment.
Is your marriage stressed? You need to set aside some quiet time where the two of you can calmly discuss what are the issues at hand. Rekindle that love that brought the two of you together! Restore the JOY of just being together. When two together row a boat it gets to the desired destination faster. Having a weekly date night is great as well! Remember you cannot change what has happened. But you can decide to go forward. Yes, you will probably have to revisit where you have been. But this is to remind you of where you do not want to stay or continue to go.
Is your job stressing you out? You need to make an appointment to talk to your supervisor, boss, employees or co workers and let them know how you are feeling. Make sure you are not angry when you do this. Find a neutral spot if possible. Writing down what you want to say will help you stay focused. If you feel that you may lose your thoughts or say something inappropriate reschedule. Graciously delay it until you are ready. The point is you want to take control not loose it. If they are not willing; it make be better to begin looking for employment somewhere else. If you don’t at some point your health will become affected working continuously under such poor conditions.
Incorporating prayer and meditating on the scriptures will yield much peace in your life. Actively implementing the principles are key to resolving inner conflict and stress. The scriptures where meant to point us to a better way of life. To develop a personal relationship with God our Creator. God has provided a wonderful plan of salvation for all who are willing to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Jesus is able to save you from the power of sin reigning in your life! Jesus came to show us that better Way! To help you discover your true purpose in life!
Stress again is a normal part of life. Taking the time to communicate your feelings in a healthy manner means you care. Redemptively confronting what ever the problem is or however you are feeling is always much better for you and those around you. Everyone has a not so good day from time to time. Don’t major in the minors! Just make sure that stress has not become the theme for your everyday lifestyle. Life is too short and precious to spend the majority of your time stressed! It is important to begin to work towards having a healthier balance in life. Begin moving towards creating a warm, more peaceful, safe and loving environment! Learning coping skills and ways to manage stress will also result in a healthier outlook as well as becoming healthier spiritually, physically and emotionally.
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Monitor Your Stress Level
WHAT’S EATING YOU?
Is there something that is bothering you? Something that you can’t talk about? Has someone hurt you that you can’t forgive? Have someone said something to you that you can’t shake loose? Has someone taken something away from you; or wronged you in some way? Do you crave acceptance? Do you feel rejected? Are you, impatient, frustrated, fed up, and just plain angry? Does the slightest little thing set you off? What’s eating you? Whatever the case don’t let it continue to hold you a prisoner. If you don’t do something about it, you will only allow the seed of bitterness to become rooted and develop deep within. Slowly but surely it will cultivate and grow! Think for a moment the chances are great that whoever has wronged you has probably moved on and not even given the matter a second thought. However you are stuck.
Each time you dwell on whatever it is without letting go, it grows. The longer you hold on to it, it will slowly but surely begin to eat you from the inside out. Unattended it will cause you to become depressed, physically ill , have much anxiety, panic attacks or migraine headaches! The end of possibilities goes on… When you allow whatever it is that is bothering you to grow, fester and internally aggravate you, it will eventually make you bitter. It will continue to impact you, your marriage, your friendships as well as your working relationships. What’s eating you? Although you have tucked it away for no one to see. Pushed it to the back of your mind only to silently gnaw away at your joy. As each year passes it is still there. The bitterness surfacing from time to time like a virus. The slightest little thing will trigger it. Someone will be able to push your button like pushing a remote control and set you off! You in turn loose control and react.
Did you know how the worm gets into the apple? Did you think it gets in from the outside in? Well it doesn’t! It has scientifically been proven. What happens is an insect actually lays an egg on the apple’s blossom. At some point the egg then hatches within the apple. As it grows, it eat eats away the apple and burrows its way to the outside! When you allow bitterness to nest, it like the worm begins to grow and erode the fiber of your being; it will eat away your happiness and inside it will grow and tunnel its way out and manifest itself as sin!
How do you stop what’s eating you from eating away at the core of your being? Periodically take a personal inventory. First keep in mind you cannot undo what has been done! Allow whatever has been sitting in the warehouse of your mind, to come to the forefront. As anything resurfaces hold it up to the Light of God’s Word! Meditate on the Word of God it is a Library of Wisdom! By the way you can read all day long but if you don’t implement it, then its just mere words. Ask the Lord to help you and open up your understanding! Begin to acknowledge any ill will or bad feelings you are having. Move towards letting go of the pain by; forgiving the offense, the offender, and forgiving the deed. By the way forgiving does not mean forgetting unless you have amnesia. It does mean that you give up the resentment. Resentment means to feel the pain of the action over and over again. When you hold on to the resentment it too turns to bitterness, that only continues to further hurt you! You must surrender your right to get even. Allowing any anger to slowly come to the surface helps you gain self control, you can then rise above it.
By letting go of what’s eating you, you begin to strengthen and discipline yourself from continuing to let it hurt you, now you are beginning to move towards healing. Confess and Admit it! Your feelings need to be validated! Accept responsibility for whatever it is by acknowledging it for whatever it is. Check yourself! Police yourself! When you find yourself going in the wrong direction or acting out in a way that is not right, don’t allow pride keep you in bondage. God does have a purpose and a path for your life! Now allow yourself to be put on the potter’s wheel to mold you and shape you into a usable “vessel of honor” for His Glory! God really does have a better way! The Word of God is so powerful! You can be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Once you admit that life is difficult it becomes easier! Sin is pervasive and has taken root in this world we live. So many things have become greatly impacted. This only further nurtures any bitterness you are harboring! Don’t be deceived! Yes! Anything goes! Acceptance often becoming an Enabler; Tolerance often has been labeled Unconditional Love. TRUTH more and more has been pushed to the background! The LOVE of GOD misconstrued! Lord Help Us! Sin is anything that separates you from God! Like the worm in the apple sin begins to grow and works its way out! Jesus said that this would happen. But don’t be alarmed. Praise God, this only further proves His Word is TRUE! You can not really transform your mind apart from the Lord! Remember if you give credit where it is due. Then you know He made the mind! “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God’s Word can renew and wash your mind when you sincerely embrace His principles and hold them dear to your heart!
What’s eating You? Do you want to experience the transforming power of His Word? Believing, knowing and implementing His Word is key. Bitterness, will not be able to stay rooted or if it has it will have to go! Ask the Lord to “Create in you a clean heart and renew the right Spirit within you.” As the Holy Spirit within you is activated it will cleanse you from the inside out! Each day as you invite His infilling PRESENCE you can become transformed from the inside out! The Fruit of His Spirit then begins to take root instead. “But the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, F aithfulnesss, Gentleness, and Self Control!” Your actions, words, thoughts and emotions can be transformed! This transformation process is lifelong. But with Jesus Christ as you personal Savior you have all the time you need!
In this day and age it is becoming increasingly difficult to find reliable people. This is an interesting, fascinating 21st century indeed! Commitment to promises have become vague or they either are thrown into the sea of temporary amnesia. Did I say that? But I thought that you were supposed to… You have heard the saying *“When the going gets rough, the tough gets going.” These no doubt(s) are some difficult times. But God knew way back when from the very beginning what would be happening now! This is why GOD is so AWESOME! In spite of what is going on if we just continue to look to Him, He will and can see you through whatever comes your way. For sure one thing remains the same; GOD STILL is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE!
Remember,* “When the going gets rough, the tough gets going.”
Those who you thought were reliable, quite often; you have now found out that was only in the moment. In order to keep your head above water you have to stay focused. It is so easy to agree to something when you are on the receiving end. But when the rubber meets the road and things are not turning out the way they thought. Be prepared. When a person has not really invested themselves into something it is easy for them to just walk away. You know and they know that you have put yourself out for them. But things just have not worked out like …. So what do you do? How about having a pity party? Do you bury your head in the sand like an ostrich?
No, instead you must look inward and upward. God really does know all and sees all! You realize that they are much more concerned about how things appear rather than how they really are. Commitment has become a fleeting virtue. Nowadays people commit and say “I DO” until death us to do part. But they “don’t.” Actually they initially mean “I DO”; but it’s really until we do not feel the same way about one another anymore! Then it’s time to move on… In order to survive in these tuff times you are going to have to develop some tough skin to guard your heart! Remember *”when the going gets rough, the tough gets going”… So now is the time to really get to going…
One must become resilient! This will help you to “bounce back” from, protect and cushion you from any future unforeseen bruises, bumps , disappointments and burns ahead. Some days may be harder than others but regardless of what is going on it is important to know; God still has everything under His control! Life is a test; with God there is no failure. This is why it is so very important to seek Him above any and everything else. Nourish your inner self with the delightful Fruit of His SPIRIT ! His Fruit is always ripe for the picking. Self control and patience are a part of His viable life sustaining Fruit. These are dependable quality attributes to nurture in oneself. They also are reliable traits that will help you weather any unforeseen pandemonium that’s ahead!
Life has a way of presenting challenges. When this happens many readily abandon Godly principles, selfishly regress and result to doing what is best for them. They lay aside what God has to say and do “what is right in their own eyes.” This has been true from the very beginning . There has been an ever increasing shift away from God’s principles for life and living. Now, high blood pressure, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and or impatience rules instead, they begin to operate in a survival mode.
Many have resorted to simply compartmentalizing their spiritual life to a weekend pastime. During the week they proceed living life and engulfing themselves in a secular worldly lifestyle where just about anything goes. Laying aside “thus says the Lord” and embracing whatever feels right in the moment. Operating in a survival mode embraces, anesthetizing and indulging in any type of self satisfying pleasure, fantasy or recreation that suits their fancy. Come Sunday they “go to Church” not really realizing that we are the Church…
The world has lost the lid and “Pandora’s box” is wide open. Denial has clouded and shrouded discretion and deceived many. Caught up in a seductive whirlwind of curiosity, many have found their place dipping and dabbling in all its self gratifying pleasures. Many of which are quite often addicting pleasures. Reliability and valor abandoned. Have you ever heard the term “Pandora’s Box has lost its lid”? Greek Mythology has taken on somewhat of a reality in this 21st century. Ponder this for a moment, according to Wikipedia;
“After Prometheus theft of the secret of fire Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the woman Pandora as part of the punishment for mankind. Pandora was given many seductive gifts from Aphrodite, Hermes, Hera, Charites, and Horae (according to Works and Days). For fear of additional reprisals, Prometheus warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but Epimetheus did not listen, and married Pandora. Pandora had been given a large jar and instruction by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she opened it, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that mankind had not known previously, escaped from the jar, but it is said, that at the very bottom of her box, there lay hope.”
There is no reason to think Pandora acted out of malice in opening the jar, for she was exercising her curiosity, and when she saw what was let out of it, she quickly closed it.
God never meant that life as “His child” to become drudgery. Nor did He intend for us to be unhappy dissatisfied or wanting. He did mean for us to be responsible and reliable and keep our commitments. As Hid children we should “forever becoming.” Meaning continuously growing spiritually, emotionally, responsibly and… Jesus came to point us to a better Way. He came to clear the path to the “Narrow path” that leads to Him. Although life takes its turns with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you have an ever present Guide and Comforter. His promise to “never leave or forsake you/us” is TRUE!
Due to this current global recession many are impacted directly or indirectly on many levels. The rich, middle class, poor and in between… The secure reliable future “nest egg” that was stored and supposedly safely tucked away in many cases has drastically dwindled. That cash reserved for emergencies has helped to offset the climbing monthly budget, gone. The cost of gas, food, clothing and living expenses have skyrocketed. Have you noticed how the portions or content sizes as well as the amount of ingredients have changed in a lot of items? We get less for more. Bargains are fewer. Who would have ever thought? It is very important to put or begin putting your TRUST in God. Here is where true security and significance lies. For sure, one thing that remains the same GOD Still is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE!
* It was Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), the father of (U.S.) President John F. Kennedy who said it originally. It was however popularized by Billy Ocean’s song
PAINT ON THE CANVAS
God not only knows the very hairs that are on our heads. He determines how long we inhabit the earth. He is the ultimate Master Creator and Designer who weaves everything together in His magnificent canvas of life. When we grow in His grace, truth and knowledge He gives us the ability to spiritually discern. Spiritual discernment lights the foreground of our canvas as we ventureour life.
Quite often we adapt to the world and employ through this valley of the shadow of death. His wisdom grooms our being so as children of light our life’s canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence in personality traits that are in general socially acceptable. Personality is used in typical dictionary definition to distinguish behavioral, emotional and attitudinal tendencies, character traits and habits. It is by these traits that one is uniquely recognized. We as people are fundamentally a complex integration of physical and non-physical dimensions and attributes.
The spiritual facet of us should reflect the God like qualities within our nature. Interpersonal dynamics and environmental influences are primary, but not exclusive to developmental determinants of our personalities. As human beings we are living, learning and growing organisms. When parents have properly nourished us by providing sufficient freedom and are generous in positive reinforcement, children will achieve a sense of personal autonomy. On the other hand if parents have modeled much faulty behavior themselves, were too overprotective, demanding, too permissive or critical, children will learn to have doubts about themselves. They will become harnessed with feelings of shame. In God’s eyes we are all ageless children. His Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life is able to override any inappropriate learning experiences which we all have to a certain degree. God who is the ultimate Sovereign Creator can paint new life onto our life’s canvas. The Holy Spirit works in believers to give us a new nature.
When I studied “Art Appreciation” in school I acquired a respect for the various art forms. When I saw an original Picasso Abstract, my first reaction was “I don’t like it. After studying Picasso’s work I learned he was able to paint with a childlike simplicity. He was able to go inside, vicariously share and interpret on canvas the depth of his feelings. From an exterior posture for one to understand his work, a surface summation would not properly render what he was trying to relay. Despite the possibility of no one understanding he did not allow that to hinder His work. Whether he was aware of it or not He was given a God-given talent. It was largely after his death that the world really began to appreciate and understand his unique gift.
Our life can be quite like an abstract painting. Especially by those who really don’t know us. People usually fear what they don’t understand, or tend to label it negatively. Webster defines Abstract as; difficult to understand. Insufficiently factual. Expressing a quality considered apart from an object. Impersonal having only a generalized form with little or no attempt at precise representation. Quite often as Christians we too must risk being misunderstood. We must learn to tenaciously pursue our God given talent(s) with a steadfast devotion.
Each day that passes what we say and do and how we respond paints an array of events on our personal canvas of life. Much of our life’s paint is applied erroneously when we wander aimlessly about. When we stray from the narrow path that God has designed. God’s world is awesomely vast. A marvelous abstract spiritual venture awaits those who are obedient. Faith and Trust in Him are required companions that confidently paint the unseen path before us! It is easy to deter from our course because God allows us so much freedom. He has given us the power to choose. Other wise each individual canvas would yield a duplicate reproduction!
But once we really discover that life has purpose the strokes on our life’s canvas should be guided by our Creator. There is nothing in our life that has transpired that we can unpaint. When we find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be or saying or doing something we don’t want to do what do we do? Do we continue to allow pride to lead us anyway? No, it will only lead us somewhere we don’t really want to go.
The hues of pride darken the spiritual path. It keeps the light of our direction deep in the background. So do we just waste precious time and continue to stumble around? Do we employ passages of scriptures to justify our sometimes wrong position? Do we erroneously mislead and gather others to support us in our wrong position? Ask yourself, do you hear a faint unspoken voice beckoning you to change your direction? Although painful, it is far better to move towards the Light. God knows your true motives. Do you know it is more important what God knows rather than what people think!
God our Creator knows all of our faults, shortcomings, misunderstandings and insecurities. His arms are wide open. But too often, pride, guilt and shame keeps us at His arm distance. It keeps us in the dark away from His marvelous Light! Too often we just don’t want to admit that we are possibly wrong or were wrong to ourselves especially not someone else! We are so reluctant to tint our canvas with the magnificent brilliance of humility! We would rather allow pride to paint our canvas and take us to a place that we will eventually dread!
If you are at a point in your life you don’t want to be, or if your life seems to be headed in a direction of uncertainty; If you have done something or said something you should not have ( and we do from time to time) seek God’s direction. Really dedicate some time to being still and sincerely do some deep soul searching. Have your self a Gethsemane experience. Get quiet enough so you can actually hear what God is saying. Now that you have gotten His attention. Sincerely render to Him what is on your mind and in your heart. Remember He knows anyway. Once you have lightened your load. Ask Him for direction. Admit and repent (not repeat) of anything that is hindering your spiritual path.
Allow God’s yoke to be spiritually connected to lighten your burdens. I assure you He will direct you! Just know it may not be in a direction you want to go. You may just have to apply some humility to your life’s canvas. Humility can harness anger and impulsive rage will have to flee! Instead each painful step in His direction will be accompanied by His unexplainable peace! Did you know that when we are at our weakest point it gives God the opportunity to create a great work in us? Proceed cautiously knowing that anger and pride wants to darken disobedience. They only want to suppress and cover up the Light that wants to shine on your life’s canvas!
Once we humbly admit to God we are wrong, a flood of Light appears. It opens the door for the cleansing power of His Word to wash us thoroughly. God in His infinite wisdom is totally aware of the minutest speck of sin on each of our individual canvases. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory”. But this does not give us the right to continue in sin. Christ did not die for us to be slaves to any sin in our lives. He even told us except we become as children we will not enter into His kingdom! He is the only Sovereign Master Designer! He can make each stroke of circumstances whatever they may be; mold and shape us into a vessel of beauty and honor in His sight. Commence to allow His Holy Spirit to guide you as you paint your personal canvas. Our life truly is “A work of art in progress.”
PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.
There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!
Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.
Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!