Marriage and Addiction Relief Part 4

Marriage & Addiction
Monkeys
Part 4

Causes of Addiction

When you feel good your brain releases a neurotransmitter that reaches a receptor. This is what tells you to feel good. The limbic system is the center where our feelings originate. It is activated by our brains. Drugs that affect the brain are called psycho active because they are mood altering. This is why one refers to being under the influence as being “high!” However after prolonged use the brain chemistry becomes altered and adjusts. It gradually takes more in order to achieve a “high!” The more one uses, the more they begin to crave, the more they use. Guess what? This begins the perilous road to addiction. So now we have a vicious self-destructive cycle that needs to be broken!

Addiction affects not only the mind but the body and spirit as well. Addiction takes on many forms. When addiction involves, overeating, caffeine, nicotine, gambling, promiscuity, shopping, workaholic, cultish religion, exercise and hobbies. Society has a tendency to accept the above addictions a tad more. An addiction can also be of a sexual nature. There are serious consequences when one becomes addicted! The addiction itself is a symptom of an underlying unresolved issue. Which is really “A plea for help!”

Emotional pain that is suppressed and has not been properly addressed is often the root cause. One who has low self-esteem lacking coping skill will sometimes turn to drugs. Someone who has been abused or molested will turn to drugs. Domestic violence can cause someone to turn to drugs. Someone who has been abandoned will turn to drugs. Someone who is grieving a loss or grieving may turn to drugs. One who may have been injured in a fall or accident and is prescribed pain medication can also become addicted! They often use the injury to rationalize the addiction. There is a plethora of reasons for addiction…

Finding better ways to cope is crucial. One must come out of denial and take ownership of their behavior. When an addiction becomes full-blown it affects everyone involved. For instance cigarette smoke impacts others as they breathe in the secondary smoke. It also results in low birth weight in babies whose mother’s continue to smoke. It has now become clear that cigarette smoking causes cancer therefore smoking has been banned in many public buildings, restaurants and places… After many years of smoking cigarettes it can result in health complications as well as cancer that can eventually cause death. What is so very interesting the number of people who continue to smoke anyway knowing that smoking is not good for their health! This is also due to the fact that smoking has been socially accepted to a large degree making it easier for the addiction to persist!

Drugs usually makes one feel good. This in itself makes it hard for the addict to simply just say “NO!” Their feelings dictate their behavior and mental acuity. Due to their lack of self-discipline they usually succumb! The addictive drug user seeks the euphoria that the drugs or smoking provides over all else at the expense of their health and wellbeing. Momentarily they are able to escape and numb their inner pain.

Addiction affects, mind, body and soul. The reasons why people become addicted are complex, vast and each individual is different. Addiction is being out of control and accompanied with compulsive behaviors. Addiction does not mean that the person is bad. It is important to separate their behavior from who they are. Next we will discuss; some of the ways drugs affect you body!

Part 5

Marriage and Addiction Relief Part 3

Marriage & Addiction

Monkeys

Part 3

Marriage & Addiction

Step 3 Regular Usage

When addiction progresses it requires a regular fix. The substance abuser will now use others in their attempt to satisfy their addiction. This often leads to a multiplicity of dysfunction on many levels. Satisfying the addiction is often done in secrecy as well as with others. The frequency in which they do so has now escalated and impedes on their day-to-day life. The addiction can still go undetected because they cleverly camouflage or conceal their addiction of choice! As one looks closely the signs are all there. A spouse may not be aware because they can appear normal to a degree. A multiplicity of excuses is rendered when they are questioned? Deception comes along with addiction it can destroy your marriage and other relationships as well

Truth and intimacy are important components in building a good strong marriage!

Step 4 full-blown

Day in and day out the addiction has now taken over. The addict will now do whatever to satisfy his or her obsession that has completely taken control. Their life cycle is getting, using, doing drugs, alcohol or whatever the addiction is… They are now compulsively spiraling increasingly downhill… For many it takes hitting rock bottom before they will admit they need help!

They have indulged themselves to the point that their brain chemistry has changed! To attempt to stop means that they will go through a period of painful withdrawal! The high that they used to receive is now an insatiable voracious uncontrollable craving! A mere ferocious “monkey on their back!” They cannot feel normal unless they are under the influence or indulging in the activity! Their family, friends, job, talents, resources are all being destroyed by their inability to control their compulsive need for a fix!

How interesting that they so paradoxically “Need a fix!” What really needs to be fixed is their deep cavernous inner pain… Addiction is a vicious cycle. If your spouse is in any of these stages it is important to confront them in love. Redemptive confrontation is a way to begin to address whatever the addiction is. If not confronted your love one’s life will spiral out of control if in fact that is not the case already.

Marriage is a wonderful relationship God has created for us to learn how to properly relate to our spouses. It is the ultimate monogamous sacred partner/co-worker relationship! It is through a committed marriage with God as the center one can learn how to overcome their weaknesses. Truly GOD is OMNISCIENT! He is the ultimate source of Godly Wisdom. He knew when we were created that we would need Him in all areas of our lives. In a God Centered Marriage He keeps man and woman joined together for life. Ever growing in His wisdom as they both stay connected to Him. realizing that “we together become one.” “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.” Within the context of a committed marriage there is power and unity! With the Help o the Lord you can whether the storms of life and emerge Victoriously. Marriage to GOD IS SACRED!

Addiction is a weakness. Drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, pornography or whatever; are all used to help one to feel good! However as an addict they have no boundaries and they are constantly seeking more ways to alleviate their uncontrollable desires. This only drives them deeper into despair and uncertainty. With the help of the Lord you can overcome addiction. For with God “All things are possible!”

Marriage was wonderfully designed by God so we could get some of our needs met. There are some needs that can only be met by God! It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriages of others. God honors marriage. When you honor your marriage you honor God!

A spouse can be a great facilitator in helping the cycle of the dysfunction of addiction being broken! It is difficult because it requires exercising good boundaries. Praying and interceding for your spouse is key.

An intervention is necessary! Once the addiction has been confronted it is important to seek healthier ways to cope. Remember there are many forms of addiction. It can be an addiction to just about anything. Not everyone has a tendency towards addiction. Yet keep in mind that we all are forever becoming. Therefore we all need to work on improving and increasing our own personal disciplines. Be compassionate and have empathy but not to the point you further enable them. Help remembering; addiction is a plea for help! There are healthier ways to fill that inner void.

There is absolutely nothing in your life that God is not aware of! He Loves you! He wants you to reach out to Him! Learning to surrender to HIM is important!

Developing a genuine intimate personal relationship with the Lord will help you begin to better cope! Here one must be careful as well There are those who develop an addiction to religion. They become very religious which also creates a void… It becomes just another escape. This is not the same thing as having a healthy personal relationship with the Lord. It is important to spend time in His Word getting to know Him through His Word. Here you can discover what life is really all about. Here you can discover your purpose and the Freedom God wants for you.

One must seek to discover who they are without the addiction. To nurture the inner child that wants it way at all cost. To learn to better exercise self-control! Now that this is out in the open the addiction is exposed! This is what the road to recovery is all about. One must begin to monitor their feelings to see what triggers their desires. What is the root cause of them losing themselves into addiction? How do I begin to move from the addiction being the center of my life? God does have a better way! There is a way out of addiction. Focusing now on your spouse’s strengths is very important! Giving them encouragement without being controlling or manipulating. Giving them to the Lord. Encouraging them to allow the “JOY of the LORD to be their strength. God wants to be the center of your life. “Jesus came that you might have life and has it to the full.” John 10.

Next we will discuss some of the causes of addiction!
See Part 4

Marriage and Addiction Relief Part 2

Marriage & Addiction

Monkeys

Part 2

Steps To Drug Addiction

Addiction is not a behavior or goal that a person usually sets out to acquire intentionally. Addiction happens when there is an unhealthy dependency formed upon a substance, activity or habit which is gradually developed over a period of time. This time varies for each individual. Addiction is considered a disease by many in the medical profession. Some have a predisposition to being addicted that makes them more susceptible! One then usually seeks to cope with their inner pain depending upon an eternal source, eventually resulting in a dependency on it for an unhealthy comfort. Unknowingly they often compulsively indulge themselves without restraint and become seduced! More and more they gradually enter a world of escape!

Step 1 Experimentation

The first step into addiction is when someone experiments and there becomes a gradual progression. For some it becomes a beloved affair and they readily fall into dependence upon a particular substance or activity! Alcohol and pot are usually where they start? It has been said that cocaine is quite deceptive and after one try many become “hooked!” One will never quite experience that first climactic high! However they will incessantly try again and again to achieve the euphoric exhilarating high! Some have even declared that they have “fallen in love” with rock cocaine only after the very first use!

Addiction can happen faster for a teen because they have not yet developed strong restraints. Their brain and nervous system is still developing. Therefore they can fall into alcoholism, pot smoking, drugs or pornography easier than an adult!

If you don’t experiment; Guess what? You won’t get hooked! Often when someone tries drugs and don’t like them they will not continue. They don’t like how they feel when under the influence.

Food is a hard addiction to overcome because it is vitally necessary to sustain one’s
life. Therefore they must learn how to get their addiction under control and live with it daily! Be encouraged! It is possible to master any addiction!

Step 2 Occasional usage

This is when drugs or alcohol are used in social settings! They allow themselves to be influenced by their peers and opt to go along with the group. There are some users who stay here and do not go on to daily use. There are some who only use alcohol and drugs on the weekend and don’t consider themselves to have an addiction.

Addiction is so widespread in this 21st century that just about everyone has been impacted to some degree. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries and is in all colors, races and cultures! This is true both inside and outside of God’s Church! Addiction within marriage can go undetected. It really is important to be transparent with your spouse in order to build a safe intimate marriage. It is also important to educate yourself about addiction. It is important to pray for your spouse relative, friend, coworker or love one!

A treatment program can be very expensive. Later on we will discuss outpatient, in patient, and residential programs. Know that having a personal relationship with the Lord makes or can make all the difference in the world! He can work through Christian and non Christians to help you through the recovery process… Keep in mind doctors and therapist treat and practice; God heals!

Next we will discuss advanced steps in addiction

Part 3

Marriage and Addiction Relief Part 1

Marriage and addiction

Monkeys

Part 1

Addiction is something few want to readily discuss. There is reason for alarm when an addiction is apparent. It needs to be addressed. It will at some point impede upon your relationship. Transparency is necessary in order to build intimacy. Addiction will inhibit intimacy within the marriage. Addiction also prohibits you from being transparent. Love, transparency, trust and intimacy are essential components in building a healthy satisfying marriage.

Addiction is a clear indicator that you are hurting. You have simply found an unhealthy way to cope with your deep pain. Your addiction can be alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, uppers, downers, prescription drugs, gambling, caffeine, illicit sex, people, pornography, food and even shopping! Yes and there are more… Even approval from others. Guess what? You have only found a way to momentarily relieve or somewhat ease your infuriating inner pain; it is still there. The addiction is a flag that something is wrong. You need to seek a healthy resolve.

I say momentarily because while under the influence or indulging in the activity of choice you are able to somewhat escape. However the systemic cause remains because the pain returns whenever you are alone. Often more vehement than ever before. This causes you to each time pursue passionately that which you are addicted to. Addiction of any kind can be life threatening because you are out of control. Your desires consume you and disables your ability to be responsible or demonstrate genuine love. Instead the activity controls you and you will do whatever it takes to get a “quick fix!

How does this impact my marriage? Good question. Marriage is a partnership and when one has an addiction they are not able to fully commit because the addiction is often their main priority. The spouse that is unaware is kept in the dark. Secrets, lies and deception accompany addiction. The addiction is used to fill the insatiable void in the addicted partner’s heart. It instead becomes their companion. This leaves their spouse out in the cold.

A disordered family, peer pressure, cultural influences, abuse, incest, rape, molestation, lack of self-esteem and a weakness to experiment can all contribute to one developing an addiction.

We live in a drug friendly worldly environment. Daily we are bombarded with the invitation to take this pill or that pill. Notice how many television commercials attempt to sell you something to feel better! Notice how the dinner hour has become the prime time for commercial pushers. There are a multiplicity of pushers of all sort. Doctors also oblige patients with tranquilizers, stimulants, pain pills, sleeping pills even pills to wake you up!

Keeping your commitments are important. One thing that needs to be promoted more is a personal relationship with the Lord! Marriage is ordained by God. It was designed to be the ultimate sacred relationship between a man and a woman. It can also help you prioritize life and put all your other relationships into their proper perspective, it can help you develop a healthier living environment.

Building trust is an important part of marriage. As we commit to building healthier home environments we contribute to lessening the number of addictions continuing to escalate. A safe home environment does not exclude addiction; but it does serve to nurture those who are… The possibility to break the generational cycle of dysfunction becomes attainable.

It is important to seek ways to validate one another. To develop and ongoing healthy support system that says I love and sincerely care. This does not mean you support the addiction. No! You separate the behavior from the person. You encourage them to be the best they can be and find ways to help them become who they were created to be.

God created each of us uniquely and we have varying temperaments. Our needs are different when these needs are not met a void is created and therefore one seeks to often erroneously fill that void. Marriage is about working together to find healthier ways to fill some of those voids with a committed partner… There are some voids that can only be filled by God.

Your partner is not responsible for your addiction you are. Both must hold one another accountable for their actions! You both are accountable to God for the vows you made… Remember, “for better or for worse…”

In this 21st century emotional gasoline has flamed the fires of addiction. Pain, grief and stress not dealt with properly are great contributors that drive unhealthy desires. This does not have to be. God’s Holy Spirit His Comforter is more than able.

Addiction is big business therefore it is often rationalized and one can easily find access and support. Addiction does not usually happen overnight it is a gradual process that begins with a series of steps…

Next we will discuss some of those steps;

Part 2

Food For Thought Before You Say I DO- Kindle Edition Countdown Promotion

How Compatible are We? Ready for Intimacy? Commitment? The Marriage Bed? In-laws or Out-laws?

How Do I Love Thee:Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO” is a mini-premarital guide to be used by couples, counselors, and clergy. It addresses many of the major subjects couples should discuss prior to marriage. Included are interactive lessons and assignments for the couple. The lessons are designed to motivate serious thought about love, compatibility, commitment, finances, accountability, responsibility, dealing with the in-laws, the marriage bed, and more.

A Kindle Countdown promotion will run on Amazon from 1/2/2016 – 1/9/2016. During this period you can get a limited-time discount on this premarital book.

Starting 1/2/2016 you can download a copy of the book starting at $ .99. Click on the book to visit Amazon and pick up your copy. The sooner you purchase, the larger the discount.

How To Overcome Bitterness – WHAT’s EATING YOU?

Apple tree

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!

TRULY GOD IS GOOD!

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.

GOD REALLY WANTS YOU TO BE HAPPY!

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.”

YOU REALLY CAN BE HAPPY IT’S YOUR CHOICE!

 

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.

All too often only part of the truth is told to receive sympathy or to be accepted. Some will literally help you to death. It is sad that many do not seek to really want to resolve inner or outer conflict. But seek a support to justify irresponsibility. It is important to know that this will not to lead to freedom. These last days the Word talks about is now. This is why we have some of everything happening inside and outside of God’s Church.

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 within you to fill you, you can become transformed from the inside out!

This is not a manufactured peace that is displayed just for others. It is a genuine inner contentment that is from the Lord. The reassurance of His omnipresence brings much comfort. You are inwardly provoked to be inwardly transformed rather than to outwardly conform.

The Fruit of His Spirit then begins to take root instead. “But the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control!” Your actions, words, thoughts and emotions can be transformed.

It is important that you regularly spend time with the Lord in His Word. Attending Bible Study is a good idea, especially if you don’t regularly spend time on your own in the Word. It is important to know that the Word of God is necessary Spiritual Food for your soul and you need to eat often. It is just or more so important than your regular meals. You should really make a point to daily spend time with the Lord in His Word. His Word is Alive and it imparts life. Don’t just read for quantity but to actually yield a greater spiritual understanding of who the Lord is. You should strive to learn how to embrace and implement what you are learning within your daily life. You will become spiritually strengthened and better able to release any bitterness as you actually digest His Word. God wants to be a part of every area of your life. It is true; “He will never leave nor forsake You!”

Life becomes a marvelous journey when you allow the Lord to lead you. You really can overcome anything with the Lord when you make happiness your choice. “GREATER IS HE that is in you than he that is in the world.” Believe God and His Word! Make happiness your goal. This transformation process is lifelong. But with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior & Lord you have all the time you need. God is everywhere that we are. He has given us His comforter to lead you to ALL TRUTH. He wants you to have a joyful, fulfilling, happy contented God centered life in every way. Always remember; You can call upon the Lord anywhere at anytime, in any and every situation. Worry, less and PRAY more release any bitterness and embrace your happiness!

RELIABLE PEOPLE?

Bored ladyRELIABLE PEOPLE?

 

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. You have invested time and money in them and they did not do their part.  But things just have not worked out like they thought ….  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…

A good strong committed marriage is possible! But you must allow GOD HIS place! GOD is LOVE and HE wants HIS LOVE to continue to flourish within your marriage!

 Monkeys

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, love 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 the people 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.

 Blue Skies

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 the lingering aftermath from the global recession many are still 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 was drastically dwindled.   That cash reserved for emergencies that has helped to offset the    climbing monthly budget, or taxes is gone.  The cost of gas, food, clothing and living expenses have skyrocketed. Although the price for gas has begun to decrease; it will never be as cheap as it once was!   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. In HIM is where true security and significance lies.   For sure, one thing that remains the same GOD Still is, was and always WILL be RELIABLE! Draw closer to the HIM! Know that ultimately GOD has everything & everyone under HIS CONTROL!

 * 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

 

Spiritual Strength & Conditioning

Alpine ClimbingSpiritual Strength & Conditioning

Did you know that many universities and colleges employ a strength and conditioning coach to train their athletes? Their responsibilities include program design, teaching exercises, performance testing, teaching proper weight lifting techniques among various other duties. They rigorously train and strive to abet an environment that is conducive to helping them reach their optimum functioning capacity. There is much thought time and preparation exerted in order to prepare their athletes. They support and recognize the need for effective training. A proper nutritious diet is encouraged as well. When properly grasped the acquired skills are useful to strengthen and enhance one’s day to day life when implemented, as well as their overall playing ability.

Did you know that the Bible refers to life as a race? But this race is not about speed, it is about endurance! Conditioning is an integral aspect of training for a professional athlete. Stretching and toning exercises are employed to strengthen the body in addition to physical exercises and weight lifting. Flexibility, strength and endurance are all apparent components when one subscribes to a disciplined exercise program. In addition a partner is used for resistance in order to further enhance one’s ability to become agile.

 

The importance of implementing a daily proper nutrition program is essential. Balance is the key. Knowing when, how much, how little and where to apply the acquired skills are crucial. But the main concept and principles should never be abandoned in order to reach your desired goal.

One must always keep in mind that the main purpose is first and foremost. The purpose is to develop a healthy strong body constitution. This will ultimately factor greatly in one’s overall success and endurance ability. The long term goal is that it all eventually in due course becomes a natural process incorporated into one’s daily life. In this respect their goal is not at all different from what God wants for us. Developing a strong body constitution is just what He wants. Perhaps if we kept uppermost in mind who the Body really belongs to we would handle things quite differently? Perhaps the long term goal would be embraced rather than the temporary “quick fix” method? We must remember that endurance and embracing Truth is the key!

 

The Bible is adamant on its position that the “Church” is the “Body of Christ”. It is crystal clear telling us how important it is to be mindful of the things we say or do. How we live day to day, regardless of where we work, live, play or attend worship service. Daily personal Bible study and its application are important for spiritual conditioning. When Bible study at church is used to further strengthen one’s spiritual life it is most effective. However, all too often it is used to condition one to think the way of the one teaching. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher. The Word of God vociferously tells us the importance of embracing and implementing God’s principles to our daily life. Life is a race to be lived that has already been won by Jesus Christ! Did you know it actually tells us to do whatever it is that we do as we “do it unto the Lord?”

 

The wonderful thing about God is that He is Omnipotent; meaning He only is all power! It is through Jesus Christ who is the Word of God that He spoke every thing into existence. There is no power, authority nor principalities on earth or in heaven that are greater. Now that is heavy! Yet, God still gives us the freedom to choose. He has given us countless examples and statistics of possible choices inclusive of results and consequences. The Bible is concise and the Holy Spirit illuminates brilliantly the pitfalls and possible detours when one chooses to operate in their own strength. Proper spiritual conditioning is key for endurance.

 

How you choose to embrace, daily adopt or overlook God’s principles will determine your overall spiritual strength and endurance. The employments of the Fruit of His Spirit are the nutrients necessary to digest the “Spiritual Food” that is necessary for this life journey. Discipline is key! Proverbs 25:18 tell us that “like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” If you want a conditioning coach that is readily available 24/7 I highly recommend Jesus!

I recommend that you really get to know Him through His Word and begin implementing the principles therein. Galatians tell us that the Fruit of the Spirit are; “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.

 

God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key! He does not want you “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Scheme they will. Just know that this in no way impresses God. Know that in His time He will right every wrong. So I say, “Hallelujah anyhow!”

 

You can rest in knowing that God knows what is really going on, and also knows the Truth! Nothing gets by Him! “So, we can say with confidence, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid!” Hebrews 13: 6. Know the Word of God for yourself! God is a God of Light! When you speak the Truth in love there is power! But first you must really know what Love is? Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not envy? Do you not boast? Are you proud? Are you rude? Do you want your own way? Of course you do not get angry easily? Nor do you keep records of wrongs? Did you know that love rejoices in Truth? 

 

 “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.”  It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.

 

God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key!

 

Think hard and long before you say or use the word LOVE so loosely? God knows because He is TRUTH and He is LOVE! It is what He knows and thinks that is most important. It should be a daily prayer that God fill you with ” The knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light.. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

Remember that conditioning I talked about earlier? God’s Word is so powerful! Remember God’s Word says that “everything was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ”! God has a predestined plan for each of His children. The race is given to who? Do you really know what LOVE means? Do you know the difference between tolerance and patience? Be honest with yourself! Or just ask someone who really knows you, not someone you are trying to impress or you just see at the Church meeting? Or how about asking that partner that helps to test your resistance? Do you “Yield not to Temptation?” Did you know that God is the ultimate burden bearer?

 

Did you know that it is through Christ’s birth,  SINLESS Life, death and resurrection we can be reconciled and presented Holy in His sight? It cancelled the code that was against us. God is awesome! Jesus really does have a better way. The Body of Christ really does belong to Him. The Church is His Bride! Colossians says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”

 

“We walk by faith not by sight” To successfully run this spiritual race you must keep the faith! When your hope and trust are in the Lord you are on solid ground. He will level your path and make sure you are on the right path. He will prune away all that is necessary to make your path straight! Watch out for the wide road! Remember, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:14.

 

When your spiritual diet consists of the fruit of His Spirit and you daily digest His Word you are on your way. It will keep you balanced. Learn to be patient. When you allow Jesus to be your strength and conditioning coach you can definitely endure! You won’t sweat the small stuff! The Holy Spirit will illuminate your path. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

God is GOOD! Daily mediate upon His Word! James says “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest in righteousness.” Consider it pure joy brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance……………… Is Jesus your strength and conditioning coach? Then you can definitely endure! In this spiritual race our prize is guaranteed . To God be the Glory!

TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN

TRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHINTRUE BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN

Your soul is the essence of who you really are.

True beauty comes from within. The WORD of GOD is so very precious! It is bursting with a wealth of wisdom! I understand more each day why the Lord tells us to “hide it in our hearts, so we might not sin against Him… Only God can see into our hearts! “Man looks on the outside. But God looks at the heart.” As believers His Holy Spirit resides within us. He knows us totally! God is LOVE! His Love is not in any way superficial it is imbedded deep into the fabric of who we are.

Life brings about a plethora of varied experiences, some bad, some good some just are simply incredible!

The Scriptures says:

“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep His statues and seek Him with ALL their heart.” Blessed means to be happy and consecrated by God. God did not intend for His Word to just become mere letters on a papyrus (paper). He meant for it to become ALIVE within our soul to feed us and nourish us spiritually and emotionally so we could walk in His precepts. To help us go through whatever life presents to us, Blessed! One can then say Hallelujah Anyhow! Therefore this is why we pray

“Our FATHER, Give us today our daily bread…”

It is often said “What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” This actually is a quote given to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There is a heartfelt sincerity when one speaks from the wellspring of their heart.

It is through the many experiences we encounter in life we grow one way or the other. It is important that we are not embittered by those experiences. It is important to have the right perspective. We can emerge triumphantly and rise above whatever has happened, is happening or will happen.

Life itself takes on a form of beauty when you access your heart’s wellspring. You perceive things differently. As you grow spiritually your soul is revived as well. You embrace the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! You do not just go along with the majority in order to accepted You realize the value in self discipline. Spiritual growth comes from spending time with God, knowing His Word and applying it to your life daily. Your soul is the essence of who you really are. It is the heart of you. It is were TRUE BEAUTY lies as you remain connected to the Lord!

God knows who we are and who belongs to HIM! When you are truly HIS you can expect much spiritual warfare on this side of heaven. But “our weapons are not carnal…” This is why it is so important to get to know Jesus as your personal SAVIOR! There is an inner peace that comes from knowing who you are in Christ. “He was born of the Virgin Mary He lived a sinless, life and was crucified, died and was buried, but he AROSE with ALL power.” Yes, He is ALIVE and so is HIS WORD! HIS WORD is our SWORD; it is sharper than any two edge sword. (Two edged swords are used by man.) Whenever a trial comes our way we must learn to STAND on the WORD of GOD.

When necessary GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES. His weapons are not carnal. We on the other hand must KNOW HIM and the POWER of JESUS CHRIST through HIS WORD! We never become the power we just gain access. During a battle we want to make sure our inner beauty is not suppressed. It is still possible for it to shine through… This is why we meditate, pray and ask to be filled daily. He has given us the gift of HIS HOLY SPIRIT as our COMFORTER! This is also what helps us to discern. He has promised to “never leave nor forsake us!”

Whatever comes our way in life know that our true beauty comes from deep within. True beauty is not worn it cannot be put on or taken off. It is from this rich place deep inside a wellspring comes forth. Here one discovers and retrieves the veiled beauty that has been pre positioned in one’s soul. It is within the depths of our soul one can encounter this precious internal, eternal fountain! That brings forth and emits a deeper beauty that has been coded into our souls by our Creator. It was knitted into us before we were in our mother’s wound. God has made us tri dimensionally. We are body, mind and soul! We are created in His image!

“For you created my inner most being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. ALL the days for me were ordained…” Psalm 139

Yes, there is also a surface beauty that one can see but sometimes you will find that it does not always go deep. This is the case when it is not embedded into the essence of one’s soul. I Peter says, that in order for our beauty not to fade away it has to come from our “ inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” This does not mean one has to become silent or passive, rather it is quite proactive! It comes from a deep place that yields discipline! It is when we put our Hope and Trust in the Lord we can discover the True beauty that is deep inside, that beauty that comes from within! Yet, it is reflected in our lives and also on the countenance of our faces! “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers…”

PAINT ON THE CANVAS

Beach Scene

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 venture out in life.

Quite often many adapt to the world and employ its principles for traveling   through this valley of the shadow of death. However, it is GOD’S wisdom that ultimately grooms our being. As children of Light our life’s canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence whenever we embrace HIS principles within our daily lives. Personality traits that are in general socially acceptable tend to make us conform in order to be accepted. God has created each of us as individuals with varying temperaments & personality traits. 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. There is miraculous cleansing & healing POWER in the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST! HIS Holy Spirit HIS Comforter works within 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.”

« Previous PageNext Page »

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates